This Article addresses the effectiveness of recent developments and proposals related to abusive litigation, and discusses them in the context of recent opinions illustrating the power of the trial judge to control the excesses of the adversary system. It rejects the countersuit as a time-consuming and costly means of controlling litigation abuses, and concludes that “tinkering changes” in the rules of procedure cannot bring about true reform. It is urged here that the burden resulting from abuse of litigation can only be relieved by changes which foster stronger judicial control of adversarial ethics, and greater judicial involvement in the pretrial stages of litigation. Any proposed change or reform, therefore, is evaluated from the perspective of whether the change will encourage trial judges to act resolutely in sanctioning errant counsel, without simultaneously producing a chilling effect on zealous advocacy.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1982


Notes/Citation Information

St. Johns Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 4 (Summer 1982), pp. 625-668



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.