Don’t lawyers have an incentive to file frivolous cases?

No, the opposite is true. People filing lawsuits do not pay hourly fees to lawyers. They pay on a “contingency” basis. The attorney gets paid only if the case is successful and is then paid out of the judgement (typically 1/3). Therefore, attorneys hired on contingency must be very selective in the cases they take. Also, rules are already in place so that if a frivolous case is filed, a judge can throw it out and sanction the attorney. In other words, no trial lawyer can afford to bring baseless cases. The contingency fee system is important system for another reason: it allows sick and injured people to hire an attorney without paying any fees up front, thus providing them with access to the courts.

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