There are relatively few Delaware decisions interpreting Rule 11. A recent decision of the Delaware Superior Court added to the sparse Delaware jurisprudence on this issue and observed that Court of Chancery Rule 11 is identical to Superior Court Rule of Civil Procedure 11. In Re Asbestos Litigation, C.A. No. 09C-11-059 ASB; C.A. No. 09C-07-128 ASB (Del. Super. Oct. 28. 2011), Slip op. at 10 n.18. This decision also discusses Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1 and 3.3 (a).
Although it is not uncommon for the Delaware Court of Chancery to shift fees in discovery disputes, for example, which fees can often be substantial in complex business litigation, and several relatively recent Chancery decisions awarded fees for errant litigation conduct in the amount of substantial six-figures, these amounts were assessed against the clients and not the lawyers. See, e.g., three Chancery cases from last year highlighted here in which fees of $700,000 were imposed as a penalty for litigation conduct. For those rare occasions when one may need Rule 11 case law involving assessments against lawyers, perhaps this case will be of some usefulness.