Lamar Smith

House backs bill to deter lawsuits in business-friendly push

The Republican-led House on Friday backed legislation that requires judges to sanction attorneys and other parties who file frivolous lawsuits in federal district court, a move that supporters said will protect individuals and businesses from unnecessary legal costs.

The bill doesn't change the standard that federal judges use to determine whether a lawsuit is frivolous, but it would ensure penalties for those who file such suits. A key provision of the bill eliminates a party's ability to avoid sanctions by voluntarily withdrawing claims within 21 days.

The vote was 230-188.

In a business-friendly campaign, House Republicans are pushing through several bills designed...