The House of Representatives approved H.R. 2655, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA)by a vote of 228-195. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chief sponsor of LARA, praised the bill's passage which will reduce frivolous lawsuits in the United States and hold attorneys accountable for lawsuit abuse by imposing mandatory sanctions on lawyers who file baseless lawsuits in federal courts.
Chairman Goodlatte: "Frivolous, baseless lawsuits have no place in the American courtroom. Leniencies in the law have allowed lawyers to file baseless claims then retract the claims up to 21 days later. Innocent victims have been left with legal costs from frivolous lawsuits with no guarantee of compensation -- this is completely unacceptable and formed the basis for the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act's much-needed provisions. LARA removes the 21-day "free pass" gap for lawyers and guarantees that victims are fully compensated for harm done by filers of frivolous lawsuits in federal courts. It restores accountability and trust in the legal system, penalizes lawyers for filing baseless lawsuits, and protects victims by a full compensation guarantee for accrued legal costs. I was pleased to bring this bill to the House Floor today and to see it pass in the House of Representatives."
Congressman Smith: "Lawsuit abuse is common in America because the lawyers who bring these frivolous cases have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Lawyers can file meritless lawsuits, and defendants are faced with the choice of years of litigation, high court costs and attorneys' fees or a settlement out of court. This is legalized extortion. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act restores accountability to our legal system by imposing mandatory sanctions on attorneys who file worthless lawsuits. By approving LARA, the House has taken an important step toward improving our legal system and protecting innocent individuals and businesses from facing frivolous suits. I urge the Senate to do the same to ensure that our justice system is not just another tool for those who line their pockets by filing frivolous suits."