Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, the former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee are pushing legislation to reduce frivolous lawsuits.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act imposes mandatory sanctions for lawyers who file suits without merit in federal court.
Federal rules mandating sanctions for frivolous suits were watered down in 1993, resulting in widespread lawsuit abuse. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act restores the mandatory sanctions which hold attorneys accountable for lawsuit abuse.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act is designed to restore
accountability to the U.S. legal system by providing penalties for filing baseless, meritless and frivolous lawsuits.
Specifically, the bill:
· Reinstates sanctions for the violation of Rule 11. Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was originally intended to deter frivolous lawsuits by sanctioning the offending party.
· Ensures that judges impose monetary sanctions against lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits, including the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the victim of the frivolous lawsuit.
· Reverses the 1993 amendments to Rule 11 that allow parties and their attorneys to avoid sanctions for making frivolous claims by withdrawing them within 21 days after a motion for sanctions has been served.
In the Senate, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act is cosponsored by Senators Tom Coburn and Marco Rubio.
In the House of Representatives, the bill is cosponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, along with Representatives Trent Franks, Jason Chaffetz, Blake Farenthold and George Holding.