Pleading phase: plaintiff files a petition or complaint through an attorney which includes what the defendant did (list of allegations) and then a prayer for relief (what the plaintiff wants) and asks the court to issue a summons to the defendantDefendant can:Motion to dismiss- court grants this if there is no legal basis for a recovery by the plaintiff, defendant claims that plaintiff does not even have a “cause of action”Ashcroft case:Javaid Iqbual, a Pakistani Muslim, was arrested in the wake of the September 11 attacks, on criminal charges and detained by federal officials. He claimed that he was deprived of his constitutional rights while in custody and so he filed a complaint. The government filed a motion to dismiss, stating that the complaint was not sufficient to state a claim against them. The case made it to the Supreme Court, where they found that the complaint failed to plead sufficient facts to state a claim for “purposeful and unlawful discrimination” against petitioners.
File an answer- defendant’s version of the facts, or affirmative defenses, can raise defenses that may be asserted at trial, alwayscontains a denial of the plaintiff’s allegations, any allegation not denied is seen to be admittedCan do a counterclaim: defendant asserts a claim against the plaintiff, then asks for money from the plaintiffIf this happens the plaintiff must file a replyNothing/default judgment- they lose automatically, judge favors plaintiff, they get 20 daysDiscovery phase- attorneys pursue the facts with expanded powers, have to be fully disclosed before coming to trial,oDepositions-question witnesses under oath, testimony of a witness takenoutside of court, both parties have to be present and given the opportunityto cross-examineTaken to learn `what the key witness knows about the case, to gain leads that will help obtain additional info, to preserve the testimony of witnesses who might die or disappear and to establish a foundation for cross examination of witnesses who might later change their storiesoInterrogatory’s- lawyers demand written answers to written questions, must be answered under oath,oRequests for production of documents-lawyers can gather emails, business records, letters, hospital records that are in the possession of the other partyoSummary judgment motion-try to get judge to pick your side, but there has to be “no genuine issue as to any material fact”oElectronic discovery: more than 90% of corporate documents are electronic, if they are destroyed they can get in serious trouble, companies are now required to have electronic documents storing systemsTrialoSelect a jury: fact finding bodyJury’s job is to consider all the evidence and determine to the bestof it’s ability what really happenedJury requirements Voir dire- “to speak the truth” attorneys question the jurorschallenge for cause: get some removed b/c they would be not fair or impartialperemptory challenges: strike people down for any reason except race
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