This bill would reinstate punishments for attorneys, law firms, and parties involved in frivolous lawsuits filed in federal court. In general, a "frivolous" lawsuit is considered to have no basis in fact or existing law and has been filed simply to harass a defendant.
Specifically, it would restore sanctions covered by Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under current law, courts can, but are not required to, impose such sanctions intended to deter frivolous lawsuits.
If passed, this bill directs Judges to put monetary sanctions on lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits. These sanctions could include attorney’s fees and the costs incurred by the victim of the frivolous lawsuit. The court could also deal with the problem by dismissing the case or striking the pleadings.
This bill would also remove an amendment to Rule 11 that currently allows parties and their attorneys to avoid sanctions if they withdraw or correct their frivolous lawsuit within 21 days of filing.