Silverman Testifies Before Congress on Lawsuit Abuse

At the invitation of the House Judiciary Committee, Cary Silverman testified at a hearing on the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA), H.R. 758. Silverman testified in support of the bill on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform before the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. LARA would strengthen the federal rule governing sanctions against frivolous claims and defenses, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The bill would restore a remedy for victims of frivolous litigation by removing barriers to seeking reimbursement of costs incurred as a result of frivolous pleadings by (1) eliminating the 21-day "safe harbor" that allows lawyers to withdraw frivolous pleadings without sanction; (2) making sanctions mandatory, rather than discretionary, when a judge finds improper conduct; and (3) striking language in the rule that prohibits judges from using sanctions for the purpose of compensating a victim of a frivolous lawsuit for attorney's fees and expenses. A video of the hearing and prepared testimony of the witnesses is available on the Committee’s website.