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Joimee T.


Rule 11

This chapter began in telling the life story of Jerome Facher, a sixty year old trial practice
teacher in Harvard and chairman of the litigation department at the Boston firm of Hale and
Dorr. In their firm, most of the associates fear working with him but those associates known as
“Jerry’s boys” who survived him believed that he was the best teacher. Jerome Facher received
the Woburn case on May 1992 from the assistant general counsel at Beatrice Foods in Chicago.
He asked one of the junior partner named Neil Jacobs to talk to John J. Riley, Beatrice’s
manager. Jacobs and Riley discussed about complaint about the tannery. After their talk, Jacob
has written that Beatrice Foods Co. admits that the land consists of wooden fields and
marshlands and has a dirt road through a portion of it, however it denies the allegations that the
drums have been deposited near the railroad tracks and there are some areas of distressed
vegetation and indicating spills of hazardous materials.

William Cheeseman representing the other defendant in the case, W.R. Grace treats this
case as a very serious matter unlike Facher. This lawyer is a senior partner at Boston firm of
Foley, Hoag and Elliot. W.R. Grace claims that the allegations against them are irresponsible
and unjustified, therefore denying that they have not caused the water contamination problem.
An executive from W.R. Grace showed Cheeseman a tape of Jan Schlichtmann’s press
conference announcing the lawsuit which alleges their company’s plant has dumped solvents
and chemical wastes that have contaminated two city wells and caused the death of five
children. Cheeseman began making inquiried about this Jann Schlichtmann and he found that
he is 31 years old and just passed the bar four years ago. He wrote letter to Schlichtmann and
threathen him if he would not withdraw the suit. He never got any response and even thought
that Jann Schlichtmann already abandon the suit. It was one morning in October when he
received a letter from Schlichmann consists of 52 pages of questions to be answered under
oath which concerns the aspect of the history and operations of the Woburn plant.

Cheeseman decided to use Rule 11, which is a civil procedure rarely know and is
intended to curb frivolous and irresponsible lawsuits which few lawyers wasted their time
invoking it. This rule has currently have proposed revisions on the Senate Judicial conference
which would make it much stronger. This revisions, however not yet enacted, will entail large
fines, public reprimands and even suspension for those lawyers who filed sham and false
claims. Facher decided not to participate in the Rule 11 motion, Cheeseman was disappointed
with Facher but he himself intended to use every weapon he could find against Schlichtmann.

In the end of the chapter, Judge Skinner denied the Rule 11 on the grounds that Rule 11
is a useful tool to restrain frivolous and abusive litigation, however, it may not be used to harass
the serious litigant whose claim may depend upon circumstantial evidence and may not be fully
developed at the time the complaint has filed.