New York State Bar Association President Claire P. Gutekunst today issued the following statement:
"The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the misnamed "Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (S.237, H.R. 720), which we have long opposed.
"The bill would restore discredited provisions initially enacted in 1983 that required judges to impose mandatory sanctions on what were deemed as frivolous lawsuits. An unintended consequence of the 1983 law was that it created additional litigation over mandatory sanctions, adding to legal costs and delays in resolving cases.
"The problematic 1983 provisions were wisely revised in 1993. The 1993 rule allows a party to seek sanctions for a frivolous lawsuit, but it also provides an opportunity for the other party to withdraw or amend its papers, which often enables the parties to resolve the dispute without court intervention.
"The New York State Bar Association urges the Senate to reject the House bill."
The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
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