On July 20, 2015, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, upheld a lower court ruling which assessed a self-represented Plaintiff $191,652.44.
Ronald L. Fulton had sued his employer for wrongful termination. Mr. Fulton choose not to have an attorney and to represent himself. The Court issued numerous rulings against him siting him for frivolous litigation. Ultimately, Mr. Fulton appealed the denial of his case, which was dismissed, as well as the assessment of legal fees. The Appellate Division found that Mr. Fulton had brought his claim without good basis and assessed all of the attorney’s fees that were spent by the Defendant in defending the case after they had warned Mr. Fulton that his claim was frivolous. Mr. Fulton is not done yet. The matter will go back to court for an assessment of further attorney fees based upon Mr. Fulton’s appeals.
This does not have to happen to you. A skilled and confidant attorney will not bring a frivolous lawsuit, and will know how to properly draft a complaint and conduct discovery so that the Court will not find the case to be frivolous, even if the case is ultimately unsuccessful. To be frivolous, the Court must find that the matter was brought without any merit and in bad faith. Entering into the complex world of litigation without the proper skills to draft complaints, conduct discovery, and write proper legal briefs, can be extremely costly, as Mr. Fulton has now learned. You can read the case here.