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LGST 101 Lecture 6

You must respond default judgment otherwise small

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you must respond (default judgment otherwise), small statement about what happened Defense can ignore summons (but this means default judgment automatic loss) Otherwise, defendant attorney can make an appearance (there are two types of appearances) General appearance o I received the summons, and will fight the lawsuit Special appearance o I wasn’t served properly
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o Argue that you don’t have jurisdiction over me, and I will explain why Jurisdiction can be questioned at any time, since it is so fundamental Say you were served properly – go to court then You have then responded to plaintiff’s request – you have accepted summons Plaintiff’s turn Why are we really suing? o Called the complaint Plaintiff, defendant, and court receive the document States facts – what happened Also states allegations Based upon these facts, these injuries occurred (allege that these injuries occurred) Includes statement of jurisdiction This is what jurisdiction is based on – it was done properly Prayer for relief This is what I’m seeking in terms of damages based upon what you did What does defendant do after receiving the complaint? He can default (this leads to default judgment) He can settle o Takes care of issue – avoid trial o Neither party gets entirely what they want o If you can’t settle, then you can do the following He can make motion o Most common motion is change of venue o Some lawsuits are very important to community (might get a lot of publicity) If that’s done, can you get an unbiased jury? If no, then you can get change of venue (go elsewhere) He can answer (another type of motion) o Most common response o Will try to hone done issue to what’s relevant o To do this, you make admissions You don’t want to fight over every little issue Tactical reasons also If you contest something, it has to go before the jury o This could reveal a lot more worse things
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Admit certain things – if it is heard in its entirety, you could lose a lot more o Then you make denials Questions of fact, which go to jury o Combine allegations, and combine denials – where they match is what you go to court about o Can also raise counterclaim Countersue Bring it up so you can deal with everything in one trial o Can also raise affirmative defenses Statute of limitations, for example Good Samaritan statute Interfamily immunity rule Especially useful in tort cases Used to avoid fraud Can’t sue within family o All these things, from serving of summons through this is called the pleadings Pleadings establish and hone the issue, and tell us what we’re going to court about At end of pleadings, either party can make motion called judgment on the pleadings Taking all the facts presented as true, is there legal reason to continue? Are there legal grounds to continue? Judge can throw out case if not Discovery process (same in civil and criminal court) – only process that exists now Tries to narrow down all the relevant documents Lawyers exchange witness lists, major areas of argument, allow both sides to examine evidence o Judge is also present Last thing you want is surprise o If there is surprise, then you can ask for continuance o
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