How to Avoid Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 Sanctions
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 requires that there be proper investigation, before a lawsuit is filed in Illinois. Furthermore, this rule requires that any lawsuit filed be "well grounded in fact and warranted by existing law." Failure to follow this rule can result in a lawyer and/or the client being fined for costs and attorney's fees.
The best way to avoid this problem is to advise an attorney of each and every detail of a matter during the first meeting. No details should be left out. Provide the attorney with a list of witnesses who can support your claim. Filing a lawsuit out of mere anger, without having suffered any damages is definitely a violation of Rule 137. Filing a lawsuit merely to gain an advantage in another court fight is definitely frowned upon in Illinois and is a violation of the rule. Furthermore, the facts of any conflict or dispute should be written down. There is no room for guessing when filing a lawsuit. Tell the truth in court and in any written documentation such as answers to interrogatories and requests to produce. Listen to your attorney if he or she specifically tells you that there is no legal basis for your claim.