Frivolous lawsuits drain the limited resources of the courts. Yet frivolous lawsuits do occur, often in an attempt to intimidate, harass or prevent an individual or community group from exercising its constitutional right to free speech. These lawsuits may allege that the individuals named engaged in defamation.
The suing party in a frivolous lawsuit generally has no intention or real incentive to win the case. In other words, the suing party doesn't really believe it was defamed. The suing party just wants to make life difficult for the individual or entity being sued. But because such lawsuits limit free speech, filing a frivolous lawsuit can lead to legal repercussions.
Frivolous lawsuits intended to intimidate opposing parties are known as Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) lawsuits. The good news is that legal protections exist for people facing SLAPP lawsuits that can help them avoid paying the costs associated with the lawsuit.
FAQs On SLAPPs
At Weisberg Law, we are experienced in litigation involving abuse of the court system. We take our role as custodians of the law seriously and believe that lawsuits should be filed when they have merit, not in an attempt to restrict the ability of other parties to do business or engage in protected free speech.
Yet not many people know their legal options when faced with frivolous lawsuits. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about SLAPP lawsuits.
What Happens If I'm Facing A SLAPP Lawsuit?
Litigation can be expensive and time-consuming. In some cases, the cost of litigation is not worth the finances or effort involved. That is why anti-SLAPP laws allow the individual or entity being sued to recover damages if it is shown that the lawsuit has no merit.
What Is An Anti-SLAPP Law?
An anti-SLAPP law is a state law that allows defendants in a frivolous lawsuit certain rights involving dismissing the case against them and recovering attorney's fees. Each state has different laws regarding SLAPP lawsuits, although they all have a similar intention of making it costly for people who file frivolous lawsuits.
Do Pennsylvania And New Jersey Have Anti-SLAPP Laws?
Pennsylvania passed an anti-SLAPP law in 2015. New Jersey does not have a specific anti-SLAPP law, but courts are willing to award attorneys' fees and sanctions against parties that file frivolous lawsuits upon dismissal.
SLAPP lawsuits can be complex and often involve nuanced areas of procedural law. For answers to your questions about SLAPP lawsuits and your options when faced with a frivolous lawsuit, contact Weisberg Law at 484-842-4030 or toll free at 866-570-6945. We have offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Morton. You can also schedule your consultation here.