Posted on: 28 September 2021
Few things can be as frustrating to deal with as trying to stop frivolous lawsuits. Hitting people with suits to waste their time, cost them money, or intimidate them is a common tactic. How do you stop abusive lawsuits, though? Is it even possible? This article looks at what victims should know.
Working the System Is Critical
Fundamentally, an abusive suit is someone taking advantage of the legal system. American law entitles nearly everybody to their day in court, regardless of how frivolous their lawsuit might be.
The big thing victims of frivolous lawsuits have to remember is their best shots at taking down these cases also come from the system. When you get to court, you have to show the judge the case is abusive.
Document the Atrocities
More than anything else, you have to document the pattern of abuse. If somebody wants to sue you, they have to send you the paperwork. Keep the original copies in safe storage and make duplicates to share with an attorney.
Respond to the Court's Requests
When the court asks you for a response, make sure you provide one. Also, obtain counsel so you can provide a sensible response.
Bear in mind, you don't owe the other side any kind of serious response until a judge says you do. If they're simply threatening a lawsuit, let them huff and puff about. If they have sued, you still don't have to take them seriously until a court orders you to do so.
Even if they send you legal-sounding requests like demands for discovery, that means nothing until a judge says it does. Preserve whatever documents seem to be relevant to the frivolous suit, though, because that's another angle for the instigator in these cases if you don't preserve requested items.
Meet them at the Point of Attack
Most attorneys will want to stop abusive lawsuits during the initial filings. At the latest, they'll wait until the initial hearings before the judge.
If there is a documentable pattern of abuse, your lawyer will present the evidence. Even if there isn't, an attorney will explain to the court why the case is a waste of time.
At the minimum, an attorney will move for the court to dismiss the case with prejudice. This means the court will block the litigant from bringing it up again. Likewise, your counsel will demand attorney's fees to impose a little pain.
Depending on your state's laws, your counsel may ask the court to also sanction the litigant for a pattern of abusive filings. In extreme cases, your lawyer may ask for sanctions against the litigant's attorneys.Share