There may be many in Jacksonville that view the United States as being a litigious society. It may be difficult to justify such a claim given that majority of the cases brought to civil court are viewed as having some degree of legal merit. At the same time, the question of whether or not every case needs to go to court may be justifiably asked. Attorneys are often paid based on the time they dedicate to your case. Thus, some may have every motivation to stretch your case out as long as they can. This may ultimately lead to frivolous litigation.
You are likely not a legal expert, so you may not think to question an attorney’s motives for continuing to pursue your case (if anything, it may seem as though he or she is going the extra mile for you). Yet federal regulations prohibit attorneys from over-litigating cases when their merits do not justify it. Specifically, Rule 11(b)(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prohibit a motion being pursued for any improper purpose. It goes on to defines such purposes as being:
- To harass a person, party, organization or agency
- To cause an unnecessary delay in certain operations, procedures or implementations
- To needlessly increase the cost of litigation
If you are found to be on the wrong end of what is determined to be a frivolous lawsuit, you may end up being held responsible for the court costs as well as the other side’s legal expenses. If your decisions were based on advice from your attorney, you may be justified in pursuing him or her for legal malpractice. The same federal rules cited above also call for him or her to be sanctioned in such a case.