Frivolous litigation is defined as the practice of starting or carrying on law suits that have little to no chance of winning. While a lawsuit may be coined frivolous by the judiciary of the United States, “frivolous litigation” is considered to consist of a legal claim or defense presented even though the party or the party’s legal counsel had reason to know that the claim or defense was manifestly insufficient or futile, that is to say, had no legal merit and may also lack legal standing.
To deter frivolous law suits and save tax payers dollars along with controlling the waste of courts and other parties‘ time, the United States Court, created Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure stating that an attorney must perform due diligence investigation concerning the factual basis for any claim or defense.
If a court feels an attorney has not performed due diligence, the attorney or the attorney’s firm can be held in contempt. Both could also be fined by the United States Tax Court for up to $25,000. In addition, the losing party must pay the prevailing party for damages.
While the United States judicial system is careful in deeming cases frivolous in order to remain open for all those who seek in good faith the protection of the law, many see such cases as a lottery ticket.
One example of a frivolous case that caused notoriety was in the Pearson vs. Chung. Washington, D.C. Judge Roy Pearson sued a dry cleaning business for $67 million (later lowered to $54 million), for losing his pants (which he brought in for a $10.50 alteration). Pearson believed that a ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ sign in the window of the shop legally entitled him to a refund for the cost of the pants, estimated at $1,000. The $54 million total also included $2 million in “mental distress” and $15,000 which he estimated to be the cost of renting a car every weekend to go to another dry cleaners.
The Chung’s legal costs skyrocketed and eventually the Chungs had to sell their dry-cleaning business.
Other frivolous and notorious lawsuits such as those mentioned in an article in the Huffington Post include:
Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit: http://www.smpadvance.com