Frivolous lawsuits clogging U.S. courts, stalling economic growth

The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act proposes tort reform to deter meritless suits.

Americans’ litigiousness and thirst for massive damages has been a boon to the legal profession. But some researchers and litigation experts warn that the abundance of lawsuits—many of them frivolous—flooding U.S. courts is severely weakening the economy.

Many litigation experts resoundingly agree with Beisner’s stance on the necessity of tort reform to ameliorate the country’s economy.

“The entrepreneurial system that we’ve developed for litigation in this country has always been an impetus to bringing cases that are close to the line or even over the line,” says Dechert Partner Sean Wajert. “When you have that kind of encouragement, you have a slippery slope, which sometimes people will slide down and get into questionable and even abusive and frivolous claims along the way.”

Rule Revisions

In 1993, lawmakers made three major changes to Rule 11 in an attempt to reduce the number of motions for sanctions and more quickly conclude federal cases. But critics say the revisions significantly weakened Rule 11 and enabled litigation abuse. LARA essentially would undo the 1993 revisions, which are still in effect today.

Possible Glitches

Critics have four main arguments against LARA.

Winning Support

Schwartz says LARA stands a good chance of becoming law if it gets adequate support from Congress and the president.

Ashley Post

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