Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



This Note examines the duty Rule 11 creates and its allocation between attorneys and their clients from an economic perspective. Part II examines Rule 11's historical purpose of deterring frivolous claims and traces the roots of the duty the Rule imposes on attorneys to achieve this purpose. Part III discusses how Rule 11 ideally should function in a society with perfect information about the cost of frivolous claims to the judicial system compared to the cost of deterring such claims, and determines that an optimal Rule would minimize the sum of these costs. Given the information constraints of the real world, Part III concludes that the Rule can come closest to achieving the goal of cost minimization by placing the duty to investigate the facts of a claim on the party that can best minimize costs--in economic terms, the "cheapest cost avoider."