The portrayal of civil lawsuits is central to American culture from Judge Judy to John Grisham. But what we see on T.V., watch in movie theaters, and read in newspapers doesn't always reflect reality.
We all have heard about the infamous McDonald's "hot coffee case" being the poster child for frivolous litigation. We've also heard about the "tort reform movement" which seeks to put an end to "frivolous" lawsuits. This campaign which is sponsored by insurance companies and large corporations has worked. In fact, according to a poll done by the Wall Street Journal in 2016, 87% of all voters said that there "were too many lawsuits filed in America."
However, most cases in our U.S. system are not for personal injury claims. Nearly half of all civil cases are are actually for contract disputes. 29% of cases are landlord-tenant cases. Only 7% involve "tort claims" or those for personal injuries. Also, civil litigation caseloads have dropped steeply since 2009.
So, what is a frivolous lawsuit? Nearly all of our clients come in and say that they're "not lawsuit" people or they've never sued anyone. Our clients come to us because they need us. They need help because an insurance company or large corporation is not willing to take responsibility. Unfortunately, these large companies force our clients to file suit in order for our clients to finally receive the justice that they are due. A frivolous lawsuit is one where the defendant does not accept responsibility.