Articles and Speeches
Get Out of My Life! Rule 12 Motions, Part One
May 5, 2016
Elizabeth Scott Moïse
The good news was that I got a complex, shiny new case that was going to be fun. The bad news was that my client thought the case was "asinine" and wanted it dismissed immediately. I could practically feel the steam coming through the the telephone, listening to him rant about the waste of time and money to defend the case. Oh dear.
Did my client actually believe that our court was going to jump right in and dismiss a well-pleaded complaint on the front end before discovery? Yes, he did. With the facts I was working with in this case, were my chances of winning a motion to dismiss at this stage any better that my chances of winning the Cooper River Bridge Run? No, maybe less.
Sometimes, we must have a hard talk with our clients at the beginning of a lawsuit to decide whether we have good grounds to support a Rule 12 motion, which includes Rule 12(b) motions to dismiss, Rule 12(c) motions for judgement on the pleadings, Rule 12(e) motions for a more definite statement, and Rule 12(f) motions to strike. Even if we have grounds, do we really want to make the motion?
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