Advanced Drafting of Complaints and Answers: How to Go Beyond Required Content and Reach Multiple Audiences
Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A
This CLE course will provide an advanced course in drafting persuasive and impactful opening pleadings. Trial counsel will often seek to meet Rule 8 or state law equivalent of a "short and plain statement" (even under Twombly and Iqbal) without going further. Although this approach can survive motions to dismiss, it undoubtedly results in counsel missing a critical opportunity to frame the case to opposing parties, insurers, opposing counsel, mediators, judges, juries, and the press. The panel will discuss the advantages of going beyond the minimum.
- Basic review of sources of law
- The required content of pleadings
- Restrictions on the content of pleadings
- Identification of audiences and needs
- Opposing client
- Opposing counsel
- Complaint and counterclaim minimums and cures
- Including introductory matter
- Expanding plain allegations of jurisdiction and venue
- Defining terms to shape case vocabulary
- Attachments and inclusion by reference
- Using the "foregoing allegations" instead of details
- Damages "to be proven"
- Additional minimums and cures for answers
- Expanding on plain denials
- Meaningful affirmative defenses
- Potential dangers
- Motions to strike
The panel will review these and other essential matters:
- What is sacrificed when pleadings only meet minimum standards?
- Who are the multiple audiences for pleadings and what is each member looking for when reading the pleadings?
- What choices can be made to go beyond minimums?
- How can purported limits on the pleadings impact drafting choices?
Laredo & Smith
Ms. Salsburg focuses her practice in the areas of business litigation, corporate advice and counsel, and white collar... | Read More
Ms. Salsburg focuses her practice in the areas of business litigation, corporate advice and counsel, and white collar criminal defense. She represents corporations, small businesses and individuals in connection with an array of matters including contract and business disputes, False Claims Act litigation, and government and internal investigations. Ms. Salsburg also routinely advises closely-held businesses on corporate and employment matters. She speaks fluent Hindi.Close
Minnis & Smallets
Ms. Smallets has been representing employees who have been discriminated against, harassed, or wrongfully terminated by... | Read More
Ms. Smallets has been representing employees who have been discriminated against, harassed, or wrongfully terminated by their employers for more than a dozen years. Along with co-counsel, she recently obtained a $475,000 jury verdict in a sexual harassment case, which is one of the highest emotional distress awards in an employment case in the Northern District of California in recent years. Along with co-counsel, Ms. Smallets also obtained an arbitration award of more than $950,000 on behalf of a client who was terminated in retaliation for complaining of unpaid wages.Close