Is it really that easy to sue (and win) in New York? Part I

The US Chamber of Commerce is at it again sending out emails detailing what it claims are the most ridiculous lawsuits of the year.  Make no mistake, the Chamber's goal is to close the courthouse doors to injured people and their families and prevent big business from being held accountable when their products kill or seriously injure people. 

But what about the underlying message? Is it really that easy to bring suit in New York and win a large recovery?

Can a burglar who trips over an extension cord and breaks his leg really sue the  homeowner whom he was trying to victimize for damages?

Is the civil justice system just another form of lottery where the lucky winner takes home a bundle from a helpless corporation, municipality or doctor?  Allow us to separate myth from reality.

Section 130-1.1a. Signing of papers

In New York, a lawyer cannot sign a complaint or any other document in connection with a lawsuit unless the lawyer certifies that the presentation of the document or the contentions in the paper are not frivolous.  A lawyer risks financial sanctions and professional discipline for violating this rule. 

This is a Rule that few attorneys would knowingly risk violating.  We, as attorneys, must take responsibility for all documents that bear our signature.  An attorney who would take on what to the public (and any ethical lawyer) would appear to be a preposterous claim (such as Mom trips over toddler in store and sues store for negligence) has to think twice before signing the Summons and Complaint and starting such a lawsuit. 

Section 130-1.1. Costs; sanctions; Rules of Professional Conduct

There are also disciplinary and court rules which prohibit the filing of a lawsuit for illegitimate purposes (such as to harass or maliciously injure another). A lawyer  who ignores these rules will soon be in deep trouble.

Okay, the skeptics out there and those who hold little respect for lawyers may not be impressed with these rules and still conclude that there are too many lawyers out there who won't be deterred by the Rules from filing a garbage lawsuit.

What happens after the lawsuit is filed? Is there nothing to save the innocent from such nefarious creatures? Stay tuned for Part II.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super Lawyers | Top 25 | Westchester County
  • Avvo Badge
  • Super Lawyers
  • AAJ Badge
  • NYSBA Badge
  • TFB Badge
  • Avvo Badge
  • BBB Badge
  • Super Lawyer
  • Car Lawyer Badge
  • Preeminent Badge
  • Av Badge
  • AV Rating Badge

Contact Us

Email Us For A Response

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

White Plains Office
188 East Post Road
Suite 401
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-290-4403
White Plains Law Office Map

New City Office
369 South Main Street
New City, NY 10956

Phone: 914-290-4403
Map & Directions

Bronx Office
2622 East Tremont Ave
Ste 880
Bronx, NY 10461

Phone: 914-290-4403
Map & Directions