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What is a frivolous lawsuit?

  • Post category:Litigation

By Adam Keilen

A frivolous lawsuit is a case that has no legal merit, meaning, the case has no basis in fact or law. When a case is lost, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was frivolous; rather, frivolous cases are based on absurd legal theories, or when parties file extreme and outrageous motions, additional suits, or claim bizarre remedies; thus, frivolous claims and defenses are requests with no rational basis. They involve unreasonable reinterpretations of the law. Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and similar state rules, require that an attorney perform reasonable due diligence as to the validity of any claim or defense. MCL § 600.2591.

In plain English. Lawyers are required to act in good faith when they file a lawsuit, or defend one. Ridiculous claims and defenses can result in unnecessary attorneys fees, thereby wasting time and resources. Courts can impose sanctions (fines) against a party or a lawyer who raises frivolous claims or defenses. MCL § 600.2591.

The take away. If you are threatened with frivolous litigation, or if you face a ridiculous defense, use of the laws available to you – there are sanctions for parties and attorneys seeking to merely waste time and resources. Id.