One Terrible Idea for a Law

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill called the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act that would mandate sanctions against lawyers who file “frivolous” complaints. As the Justice Watch blog points out, this would lead to a ridiculous amount of lawyers’, litigants’ and judges’ time being wasted on arguing this issue instead of–gee, I don’t know–arguing the merits?courtroom

Also – and I know I’m a broken record at this point – the truly silly cases don’t make it very far anyway. The bill would save the courts minimal time and money and would risk trampling on the rights of legitimate plaintiffs. Finally, the vast majority of personal injury lawyers aren’t taking claims that we know are ridiculous. We work on contingency. No recovery, no fee.

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  • Avenger

    As one who handled claims for many years, many meritless cases make it past summary judgement, particularly in state courts. At that point the meritless case has a value of $5,000 because that is the minimum cost to defend – and state court judges do their best to avoid awarding costs and fees to prevailing defendants.

  • I think that they need to define frivolous. There is a huge difference between frivolous and meritless. Lawyers never usually file frivolous cases but sometimes file meritless cases.

  • Ron Miller

    I think that is an important distinction, too.

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