When you run a business, you’re always at risk for being sued. What’s even worse is the risk of meritless lawsuits. A lawsuit that has no merit under applicable law is known as frivolous litigation. This is a lawsuit that is filed primarily to intimidate or harass another person or business. If you don’t have a West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorney on your side, you may end up paying a lot more than you otherwise would have paid to prevail on these claims.
Frivolous Lawsuit Characteristics
Frivolous lawsuits share some common characteristics. These can include:
- They lack legal merit: The main characteristic of a frivolous lawsuit is that it lacks all merit under the law. A reputable attorney won’t typically take a frivolous lawsuit because they are filed in bad faith.
- The plaintiff has filed multiple suits: In many cases, someone who files a frivolous lawsuit has filed other lawsuits in the past. You can see a pattern by checking to see if there are other lawsuits filed by the plaintiff before. If so, you may have someone who is engaging in frivolous litigation.
- Frivolous lawsuits are messy: In most frivolous lawsuits, the attorney filing the case knows it has no merit, so the paperwork is sloppy and messy. They likely don’t have any intention of following through with litigation, the lawsuit is just to intimidate you or try to get you to do something or pay them money.
Potential Consequences of Frivolous Litigation
There are numerous consequences of frivolous litigation. Some of these can include:
- There can be financial losses. In the event the lawsuit is not dismissed immediately, you could lose money since you need to take time away from your business and hire legal counsel.
- Added stress. When you are sued, it can be extremely stressful. Even if it is a frivolous lawsuit, you will still need to respond, retain an attorney, and expend time, money and energy dealing with the matter, which takes you away from your business.
If the court determines that a lawsuit is frivolous, the filing party and his or her counsel could be hit with fines. If you have a skilled Florida commercial litigation attorney representing you, your attorney can file a countersuit to seek damages. If the plaintiff is found to be abusing the legal system, there could be a high price to pay. They may have to pay a hefty amount in fines to the government on top of what is paid to the victim.
Contact a Florida Commercial Litigation Attorney
If your business is being sued by someone or an entity and the lawsuit has no merit, it’s important you take the proper steps to protect yourself and your business. In Florida, someone who files a frivolous lawsuit could be subject to legal trouble of their own, and in some cases, be required to pay your legal fees. To understand what legal options are available to you, contact Pincus & Currier, LLP today to schedule a consultation.