Wednesday, May 26, 2004

En banc Fourth Circuit reverses Rule 11 sanctions, on procedural issue not raised in D.Ct.

In Brickwood Contractors, Inc. v. Datanet Engineering, Inc., the Fourth Circuit sitting en banc reversed the district court's award of Rule 11 sanctions. The Court's opinion was written by Judge Traxler, joined by Chief Judge Wilkins and Judges Wilkinson, Niemeyer, Williams, Michael, Motz, Gregory, Shedd, and Duncan. Judge Widener, who wrote the opinion for the panel, wrote a separate concurring opinion, and als Judges Luttig and King concurred in the judgment and wrote separate opinions.

The big issue in the opinions that came out today is not so much whether the district court erred but rather whether the issue of failure to comply with Rule 11's procedural requirement by not being raised in the District Court precluded appellate review.

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