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How should a middle class defendant handle a frivolous lawsuit?

San Diego, CA |

As a middle class worker , i do not qualify for receiving free legal services nor can i handle hefty costs of hiring a lawyer . Does that mean i should always settle with the plaintiff because he has a deeper pocket and i just don't have the means to see through the justice being served ?

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Attorney answers 5


You can defend yourself (it’s called ‘pro se’). Many people defend themselves in court--with decidedly mixed results, depending on the type and complexity of the case.

Many law schools run legal clinics--contact some SD area law schools to see if you can qualify for one of their programs.

Word of caution: Frivolous is a fungible word--the court will recognize the difference between what the law considers frivolous, and what is a difference of opinion falling within the bandwidth of an acceptable case to bring.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.


Even though you might not have a lot of money to defend the lawsuit, I am confident you will be able to find a lawyer willing to work with you on legal fees. It does not mean you should always settle. You just have to look hard enough to find a compassionate lawyer willing to fight for justice.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


Without details of your particular problem, your question is more in the nature of an academic or philosophical inquiry, best suited for a law school class or over coffee. At a minimum, spend a minimal amount to consult with an attorney who will be able to analyse your legal problem; estimate the amount of time and effort it will take to defend against the same; and whether it is something that you can do Pro Se, as one other responder suggested (usually not advisable where the other party has legal representation).


Some attorneys take payments or may barter / trade for services as well.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.

Carl H Starrett II

Carl H Starrett II


I don't often barter, but I have done it successfully from time to time.

Adrienne Patricia Allen

Adrienne Patricia Allen


Me too!


All of the prior responses have provided you with valuable and useful information. If you have a specific matter that you are facing, I encourage you to post this question again with more details. It might not cost as much as you think.

First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.

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