Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 places primary responsibility for policing litigation related lapses in the hands of district court judges, and confers on them great flexibility and discretion. Despite the Rule's current importance, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 has modest origins. Initially, the Rule required simply that attorneys sign all pleadings, motions, and papers filed with the court. In response to systemic abuses of the litigation process, the Supreme Court amended the Rule in 1983 to serve a stronger policing function. From its earliest incarnation as a procedural signing requirement through the 1993 amendments, the Advisory Committee has not explicitly described a coherent vision for the rule -- whether Rule 11 is designed to deter negligence or punish bad faith. Left to their own devices, individual courts and judges have brought their own interpretations to the table, resulting in the current circuit split.