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The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 18-10 to approve HR 4571, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, intended to curb frivolous lawsuits. The legislation changes the way that lawsuits deemed without merit would be treated under federal rules governing civil trials. Sanctions for filing such lawsuits would be mandatory, rather than at the discretion of the judge. The bill also eliminates a provision allowing parties to avoid sanctions by withdrawing claims and extending sanctions to state court cases that affect interstate commerce.

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