Frivolous Defined
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The terms “frivolous, unreasonable, and without reason” are frequently used in fee shifting statutes. Smith v. Selma Community Hospital (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 1, articulates an applicable legal standard for frivolous within the context of Business and Professions Code section 809.9, which awards attorney fees to a prevailing party “if the other party’s conduct in bringing, defending, or litigating the suit was frivolous, unreasonable, without foundation, or in bad faith.” The court concluded “a matter is frivolous if any reasonable attorney would agree it is completely without merit in the sense that it lacks legal grounds, lacks an evidentiary showing, or involves an unreasonable delay.” (Retzloff v. Moulton Parkway Assn.)

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