Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith Bill to Protect Innocent Americans from Lawsuit Abuse Passes House

Mar 10, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, legislation authored and introduced by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to penalize lawyers for filing frivolous lawsuits passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction ACT (LARA) of 2017 passed by a vote of 230-188. Congressman Smith and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) gave the following statements.

Congressman Smith: “Everyday attorneys file frivolous lawsuits that cost innocent Americans their livelihoods. These attorneys engage in legalized extortion and try to force individuals to settle out of court instead of paying huge court costs. There is currently no disincentive to deter attorneys from filing frivolous claims. By requiring attorneys who file junk lawsuits to pay the court costs of those they sue, such lawsuits will be discouraged. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Grassley in the Senate to get this commonsense bill to President Trump’s desk.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “Lawyers who flood our federal courts with frivolous suits have no place in our civil justice system. Baseless suits brought against hardworking Americans, as well as businesses large and small, have a real cost that ultimately hurt the economy. Judges need to have the tools necessary to combat unscrupulous lawyers, and Congress is answering their calls for reform.

“Our civil justice system was created to serve Americans who brings legitimate claims to court, and the reforms in LARA allow for the doors of justice to stay open, while ensuring attorneys are held accountable for filing lawsuits with no basis in law or fact.”