Rule 8. General Rules of Pleading
(d) Pleading to Be Concise and Direct; Alternative Statements;
(1) In General. Each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct. No
technical form is required.
(2) Alternative Statements of a Claim or Defense. A party may set out
two or more statements of a claim or defense alternatively or
hypothetically, either in a single count or defense or in separate
ones. If a party makes alternative statements, the pleading is
sufficient if any one of them is sufficient.
(3) Inconsistent Claims or Defenses. A party may state as many separate
claims or defenses as it has, regardless of consistency.
Rule 11. Signing
and Other Papers; Representations to the Court; Sanctions
(a) Signature. Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be
signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name — or
by a party personally if the party is unrepresented. The paper must
signer’s address, e-mail address, and telephone number. Unless a rule
or statute specifically states otherwise, a pleading need not be
verified or accompanied by an affidavit. The court must strike an
unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being
called to the attorney’s or party’s attention.
(b) Representations to the Court. By presenting to the court a
pleading, written motion, or other paper — whether by signing, filing,
submitting, or later advocating it — an attorney or unrepresented party
certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and
belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to
harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of
(2) the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by
existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or
reversing existing law or for establishing new law;
(3) the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if
specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after
a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence
or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on belief or a
lack of information.
(1) In General. If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to
respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the
court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or
party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation.
Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be held jointly
responsible for a violation committed by its partner, associate, or
(2) Motion for Sanctions. A motion for sanctions must be made
separately from any other motion and must describe the specific conduct
that allegedly violates Rule 11(b). The motion must be served under
Rule 5, but it must not be filed or be presented to the court if the
challenged paper, claim, defense, contention, or denial is
withdrawn or appropriately corrected within 21 days after service or
within another time the court sets. If warranted, the court may award
to the prevailing party the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s
fees, incurred for the motion.
(3) On the Court’s Initiative. On its own, the court may order an
attorney, law firm, or party to show cause why conduct specifically
described in the order has not violated Rule 11(b).
(4) Nature of a Sanction. A sanction imposed under this rule must be
limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or
comparable conduct by others similarly situated. The sanction may
include nonmonetary directives; an order to pay a penalty into court;
or, if imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence, an
order directing payment to the movant of part or all of
the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses directly resulting
from the violation.
(5) Limitations on Monetary Sanctions. The court must not impose a
(A) against a represented party for violating Rule 11(b)(2); or
(B) on its own, unless it issued the show-cause order under Rule
11(c)(3) before voluntary dismissal or settlement of the claims made by
or against the party that is, or whose attorneys are, to be sanctioned.
(6) Requirements for an Order. An order imposing a sanction must
describe the sanctioned conduct and explain the basis for the sanction.
(d) Inapplicability to Discovery. This rule does not apply to
disclosures and discovery requests, responses, objections, and motions
under Rules 26 through 37.