Frivolous Law and Legal Definition

Frivolous, in general, means lacking in substance. In a legal context, frivolous claims are those which have no basis in fact or for which the law provides no remedy. A frivolous appeal of a lawsuit is one clearly lacking any merit and the attorney bringing a frivolous lawsuit may be assessed money damages, including attorneys' fees and compensatory costs.

States have adopted their own code of ethics for the practice of law, and they generally require that a lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless the lawyer reasonably believes that there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes may include a good faith non-frivolous argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.