Well, apology accepted, I had had a fairly rough week.
My apologies back for seeming a little quick on the trigger with playing the "victim card".
My experience with these may be a little jaundiced. "Nuisance" settlement may not really be the right word, tho'. The cases I have seen over these many years usually fall into these catagories.
A. Solid liability, small injury, therefore not economically feasable for the attorney or client. Insurance comapny will usually offer anywhere from specials plus $500 to specials plus $3000.00. Very demeaning for the attorney to do, b/c the ins. co., "knows" you probabaly wont litigate, and therefore really lowballs you right up to the point where they have to bring in counsel and their costs start goign up.
B. Weak liability, strong damages. Depending on the defendant, you might get a denial letter and they refuse to offer anyhting at all prior to suit. OR you might get a small offer of $3-5000.00, regardless of the specials. THIS is what I personally define as a "nuisance" settlement. (Medical bills of $5000 and lost wages of $7000 = $5000 settlement offer)
C. Weak liability, weak damages - Why did you even take this suit, counselor? Quit at least 6 months before the statute of limitations runs! (Depending on the degree of chance of a jury actually finding in your favor, this is where one could find "frivilous" lawsuits)
Most of the "frivilous" lawsuits the astroturfed anti-plainitff's lawyer groups scream about fall into one of these catagories:
a. inmate lawsuits - esp w/"jailhouse lawyer" (fellow prisoner w/good penmanship) ghostwriting it. Usually dismissed with less than 2 hours total judicial time involved and less than 5 hours opposing lawyer time. Only significant when the number of these gettign filed begins to pile up. (Giving word processers and access to online legal resources to inmantes is a bad idea for this reason alone)
b. pro se (self represented) civil litigant - usually a nutjob. However, even a blind squirrel finds an occaisional acorn, so they are a necessary evil. If for no other reason than to make TV shows seem plausible. (The "Big Bang Theory" episode where Sheldon goes to traffic court comes to mind)
c. Young lawyer who hung out his or her shingle from day one is a.) inexperienced (less than one year before the bar), and b.) desperate for work, takes and files a case that he or she never should have taken and/or filed. Sometimes, they even know it when they file it, but the statute of limitations has snuck up on them and they are in a box. (This is usually not a big burden on the system as it is relatively rare)