Is there any recourse for a defendant when there is clearly no basis for a law suit?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Is there any recourse for a defendant when there is clearly no basis for a law suit?

We have been accused of conspiring with an employee of the other company to defraud them out of money and assets. Their discovery has shown nothing, they have not produced any proof and yet they keep pursuing the issue. All they have is a hunch which has no merit. It is costing us a lot of money in defense and we are frustrated with the proceedings. Could there be a way to go on the offense to help bring this to an end? Perhaps file a counter suit to recover some of our legal expenses?

Asked on September 25, 2019 under Business Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Most states, in their rules of court, provide some relief for people who are subject to "frivolous" or baseless lawsuits and litigation, but as your lawyer correctly points out, it is generally difficult to make sue of this relief, because the courts and state legislatures have made a deliberate choice that it is better to have some people suffer from frivolous actions than risk putting in place rules that may discourage good faith, valid, but difficult-to-prove lawsuits; therefore, it is typically a "high bar" to get over to prove the matter is frivolous and get relief.
Making it worse, your state's rules on the subject, or about people who abuse the legal system (what they call "vexatious litigants") is more restrictive than many other states (like my own NJ's). You lawyer is correct that it would be very difficult to prove an entitlement to money. Here is UT's rules for reference:

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