Civ Pro - Fall 2006 - Rachlinski

Civ Pro Fall 2006 - OUTLINE I PLEADINGS I The Rules in General A Structure of the Courts 1 State Courts and Federal Courts-overlapping systems 2

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1OUTLINE I -- PLEADINGS I.  The Rules in General A.  Structure of the Courts 1.  State Courts and Federal Courts -overlapping systems 2.  The structure of the Fed Courts -Supreme Court on top -Circuit Courts below them (these are the appeals courts) -District Courts (where trials are held -- lowest courts in federal system) B.  The authority of the FRCP 1.   Relevant Statutes -Rule of Decision Act -Conformity Act -implicitly repealed: see SIBBACH -later explicitly repealed by Congress -Rule Enabling Act 2. Substance versus procedure -why it matters -FRCP are not supposed to interfere with substantive state rights  -line between substance and procedure -somewhat blurry -but there is nothing in-between procedure and substance  (See SIBBACH) -significant rights still termed procedural -e.g., physical examination 4.   Purposes of the FRCP -uniform set of rules governing all actions in Fed. Court -also reformist goals -replaced then-existing pleading system  -create a liberal discovery regime 5. Basic system of the FRCP--stages of litigation -liberal pleading rules -open discovery -pretrial motions -trial and appeal II. Complaints -- Rule 8 A.  Elements of a proper complaint 1.  Three basic requirements 1
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-statement of jurisdiction -brief statement of the basis for relief -demand for relief 2.  Purposes of a complaint (and pleadings) -notice to the parties -narrow issues  -some screening of claims -through 12(b)(6) -and through self-policing mandated by Rule 11 3.  Adequate statement of basis for relief -can be quite vague -except for allegations of fraud--see Rule 9(b) -need not specify legal theory (see SIEROCINSKI) -might be better off without specifics (see BLAIR) -may plead in alternative -although see Rule 11 -pleading is adequate “unless it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in  support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.”  CONLEY -BUT the exact language is an exaggeration -correct standard:  if allegations are true, then plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought 3.  Evolution of judicial thinking on complaints -FRCP liberalized pleadings -CONLEY as the high-water mark for liberal approach to pleadings -contemporary assessment of complaints -much more exacting -must articulate a theory that would support a claim B.  Rule 11 Requirements 1.  Note that these apply to all papers filed with court  -not just the complaint, and not just the pleadings -But Rule 11 does not apply to papers filed under discovery rules -see Rule 11(d) -discovery has its own set of sanctions 2.  Requirements -signature (trivial requirement)--11(a) -after reasonable investigation under the circumstances -papers filed with court are not for improper purpose--Rule 11(b)(1)
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This note was uploaded on 04/26/2008 for the course LAW civpro taught by Professor Clermont during the Fall '06 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Civ Pro Fall 2006 - OUTLINE I PLEADINGS I The Rules in General A Structure of the Courts 1 State Courts and Federal Courts-overlapping systems 2

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