Weaver v Superior Court effect upon the litigation

As determined by Weaver v Superior Court (1979) 95 CA3d 166, 156 CR 745, an attorney owes no duty to adverse parties to conduct a reasonable investigation of the facts and law before filing a complaint against them. Likewise, counsel cannot be liable to adverse parties for malpractice under a negligence theory if the suit proves to have no basis in law or fact. Hence, unless it can be proven that the suit is brought as a malicious prosecution or the anti-SLAPP statute (Code of Civil Procedure § 425.16) is able to dispose of meritless suits, lawyers are able to sue without even determining if the case has merit or good faith believe that the facts are credible. Of course the suit can later be dropped or the complaint can be amended, but if the defendant cannot afford a lawyer and forgets to show up in court, a default will be entered against them and a judgement may be obtained by the plaintiff against the defendant. We must ask ourselves if the justice system is just when attorneys are given free rein to bring suit without any duty to investigate the law or facts of the case before initiating court proceedings.

 

“Find out what any people are willing to submit to and you have the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.” – Frederick Douglass

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