May 08, 2005

VE Day kinda Like 56(c) Day

by Armen

The Armen sitting on my left shoulder clearly wants me to break from studying and actually go use a restroom instead of soiling my pants while the Armen on my right shoulder is whisperring, "Double H....Double H." As a fair and neutral arbiter, I've decided to take a break by writing a blog entry that compares WWII to the Fed. R. Civ. P.

Like many cases, the causes of action out of WWII did not follow the exact order of topics learned in Civ Pro I. But like any civil action, the whole thing began with a claim filed by the first plaintiff against the first defendant (D1). But quickly, D2 and D3 joined the cause of action and filed counter-claims as guarantors for D1. D4 also had counter claims but could not file them because they were not part of the same transaction or series of transactions.

In a twist of fate, P2 filed a separate claim against D4, which D4 properly answered. P1, recognizing that this cause of action involves the same issue and claim, and not wanting to be barred by res judicata, joined the second cause of action. Now part of the first cause of action, D4 happily filed counter-claims against P1. By this point P1 had also joined D5 to the first cause of action as a deep-pocket defendant. As per Rule 29, the parties (plaintiffs at least) stipulated to proceed on the first cause of action and suspend the second pending the outcome of the first. This, however, is not to be confused with the 26(f) conference required to chart the course of discovery.

With the liberal notice pleading requirements of the Rules, both sides survived 12(b)(6) motions for failure to state a valid claim upon which relief can be granted. They then proceeded to the most contentious part of civil suits, discovery. During this phase all the bombshells dropped. Countless interrogatories were filed, and quite a number of depositions took place. Although access was not freely granted to property controlled or possessed by opposing parties, as per rule 34(a), such lands were nevertheless examined. At the end of the discovery period, P1 presented no material issue of fact, and the case was dismissed.

On appeal, P1 and his clients were sanctioned for Rule 11 violations (filing a frivolous claim) and for 26(g) violations (abuse of discovery process). And so today, we celebrate Rule 56(c) day.

May 8, 2005 10:50 PM | TrackBack
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