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The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Civil litigation in Federal courts Class will begin momentarily, adjust your mics and have the FRCP with you to study.

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Presentation on theme: "The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Civil litigation in Federal courts Class will begin momentarily, adjust your mics and have the FRCP with you to study."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Civil litigation in Federal courts Class will begin momentarily, adjust your mics and have the FRCP with you to study during class along with the PowerPoint. _______________ A course study of selected rules from the F.R.C.P. most related to paralegal tasks. Instructor: Alan Beckman, J.D. Adjunct Professor Contact: (1) e mail (2) drop

2 Introduction to the F.R.C.P. The purposes and objectives of this course are: Purposes: acquaint students with federal civil litigation through the use and understanding of the rules governing litigation Objectives: a practical understanding of the content, structure, access and use of the F.R.C.P. and paralegal roles. Rule memorization is unnecessary

3 The study of the F.R.C.P. The methodology and approach to studying the F.R.C.P. in this course involves:  classes (lectures, presentations by PPT, Q & A, etc. focused on highlighted rules, Quizzers)  between classes (students prepare for classes, follow-up classes and prepare for the final examination pursuant to the directions given during class 3)  grading (based on attendance*, participation, preparation and exam) *Attendance is mandatory

4 Syllabus for F.R.C.P. (Part I) Class 1…(P) download, copy and read Chs.(titles) I, II, III and IV (C) orientation, overview, rules 1 – 25, Q & A and the Quizzers (F) download a federal summons from any U.S. District Court Clerk’s web site and view the steps/flow chart in a federal lawsuit: Case-Flow-Chart Note: (P)=prior to class (C)=class and (F)=follow-up to class. Also, chapters=titles

5 Syllabus for F.R.C.P. (Part II) Class 2…(P) read rules and download and/or review the discovery articles and materials listed in addendum A, in “Resources” at owl-space (C) lecture review of rules and Q & A session, complete the Part II Quizzers and (F) read the e discovery article found at: cles/news-updates/ediscovery-amendments- to-the-federal-rules-of-civil-procedure-go- into-effect-today/ See also the “Topics” listed on the left margin of the article.

6 Syllabus for F.R.C.P. (Part III) Class 3…(P) read rules 54 – 83, (C) lecture re: rules 54 – 83, and Q & A re: highlighted rules, Quizzers and review the exam procedure (F) fully prepare for the final examination, do exercises in addendum B and take the exam as directed HINT: The test focuses upon “accessing” the correct rule asked for in a time efficient manner using self created indexing systems

7 Structure of the F.R.C.P. Here is how the rules are organized: There are 9 chapters/titles and 73 rules we study (Titles X and XI are administrative in nature with little or no paralegal involvement) Arranged chronologically Applies to all civil actions filed in the U.S. District Court Addresses how cases proceed from filing through motions and discovery ending with the judgment and related matters

8 Content of the F.R.C.P. Title by Title, an overview: 1.Scope of the rules (rules 1 and 2) 2.Commencement of suits (rules 3 to 6) 3.Pleadings & Motions (rules 7 to 16) 4.Parties (rules 8 to 25) 5.Discovery (rules 26 to 37) 6.Trial (rules 38 to 53) 7.Judgment (rules 54 to 63) 8.Remedies (rules 64 to 71) 9.Special proceedings, Courts and Misc. (rules 71.1 to 73) Note: rule omissions & rules paraphrased

9 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 1: Scope and purpose* This rule sets forth the objectives of the rules to provide a just, speedy and inexpensive process for all civil actions in the District Courts (except under rule 81) Notes: Overcomes the formalities and complexities of common law. Also, throughout this course, rules not often used by paralegals have *, rules commonly used** and important rules with extensive use and discussion***

10 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 2: One form of action* This rule sets forth the requirement that all forms of suits are brought as one form: a civil action Notes: Overcomes the formalities and complexities of common law requiring separate handling of legal and equitable actions. In the rules, lawsuits are referred to as “civil actions”

11 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 3: Commencement of action* Requires actions (suits) be initiated by filing a complaint with the court Notes: More is required to “perfect the lawsuit”, i.e., service of process

12 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 4: Summons** This rule addresses what a summons contains, how it is issued and served and by whom, waivers of service and affidavits of service Notes: this insures adequacy and consistency in providing due notice of a pending action Roles?

13 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 5: Service and filing of pleadings and other papers** After the complaint, all other papers filed with the court shall be served on all parties pursuant to this rule, e.g., personal delivery, leaving at attorney’s office, mailing, leaving with the clerk if their address is unknown, electronic means, etc. Notes: this insures adequacy and consistency in providing due notice of all filings in a case. Roles?

14 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 6: Computing and extending time…*** This rule deals with computing time deadlines in civil actions, such as filing motions for a new trial within 10 days of entry of judgment and how the deadline is determined (REVIEW RULE STANDARD IN (a) (1) *next slide Notes: Paralegals must know and use this rule frequently and accurately

15 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 6: Computing and extending time…*** (a)(1) Period Stated in Days or a Longer Unit. When the period is stated in days or a longer unit of time: (A) exclude the day of the event that triggers the period; (B) count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and (C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Roles?

16 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 7: Pleadings allowed…** This rule lists what are the allowed pleadings and what motions are and how they are presented. Motions must contain specific grounds for relief and what relief is sought. Notes: This rule generally introduces pleadings and motions Roles?

17 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 8: General rules of pleading*** This rule sets forth the requirements for both claims and defenses in pleadings: Claims must contain Jurisdiction, short and plain claim and the relief sought Defenses admit/deny the complaint and may raise listed affirmative defenses (attorney decision) Notes: This rule specifies the basic requirements for pleadings Roles?

18 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 9: Pleading special matters* This infrequently used rule discusses how to plead special matters such as capacity, fraud, special damages, etc. Notes: Consult this rule as needed in collaboration with your attorney

19 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 10: Form of pleadings*** Here are the basic formatting requirements for pleadings: Caption: court name, parties, title, file #, and designation, e.g., complaint Paragraphs: claims & defenses stated in separately numbered paragraphs (single set of circumstances) and may adopt by reference (pleadings, etc.) and use exhibits Notes: Consult this rule when drafting claims and defenses Roles?

20 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 11: Signing of pleadings…** The rule, in summary, requires attorneys and unrepresented parties to personally sign all court filed documents and include their address, e mail and phone. The gist of this rule is to insure legally sufficient, non-frivolous and non- harassing claims and defenses are presented otherwise, sanctions are allowed. Notes: Do NOT sign court filed papers in your or your attorneys name Roles?

21 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 12: Defenses and objections…*** This rule primarily addresses how and what defenses/objections are raised: Answers must be filed within 21 days… 12 (b) motions asserting defects… Motion for judgment on pleadings Motion for a more definite statement Motion to strike Waivers and joining motions Notes: Do NOT file an answer until you and the attorney have considered this rule Roles?

22 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 13: Counterclaim and crossclaim** This rule requires a counterclaim be filed when is based on the same occurrence and no unavailable 3 rd party is required, with two exceptions (see rule section (a)(2). Permissive counterclaims are the remainder. Crossclaims against copartys are allowed based upon the same occurrence. Notes: Consult this rule when applicable Roles?

23 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 14: Third-Party Practice** This rule describes how crossclaims can be brought against non-parties. It provides: How defendants can bring in another defendant (a third party defendant) How plaintiffs can do the same For motions to strike and sever Notes: Consult this rule when you need to bring in non-parties Roles?

24 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 15: Amended and supplemental pleadings** This rule allows amendments and supplementation of pleadings: Amendments are allowed within 21 days of service or later by court order If made during or after trial, freely allowed absent prejudice to opponent Supplemental pleadings allowed for claims arising after the initial claim Rule discusses when amendments relate back to original filing Roles?

25 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 16: Pretrial Conferences**… This rule permits the court to order parties to appear to confer re: “housekeeping”, e.g., case planning Scheduling orders, e.g., dates for various motions, acts, etc. Final P.T.C. for trial planning purposes Sanctions for bad faith participation Note: Paralegal roles

26 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 17: Plaintiff and Defendant…** This rule discusses how parties can be named in their capacity to sue or be sued Example: You can sue Kyle personally or Kyle, as guardian for Noah, a minor Note: Paralegal roles

27 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 18: Joinder of claims* Infrequently used rule allowing claimants to file all claims in a single suit she may have against an opponent. Note: Paralegal roles?

28 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 19: Required Joinder of Parties** (a/k/a Compulsory joinder rule) A fundamental due process requirement to join all legally interested parties (those whose rights may be affected by the outcome, if feasible) Example: A quiet title lawsuit Note: Paralegal roles

29 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 20: Permissive Joinder of Parties* A rule allowing joinder of parties when claims involve the same acts or have common questions of facts or law Example: Similarly defective automobiles Note: Paralegal roles?

30 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 21: Misjoinder and nonjoinder…* Allows the trial judge to correct joinder errors on just terms Example: Lender foreclosure suit against co- borrowers Note: Paralegal roles?

31 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 23: Class actions** Rules outlining the requirements to be certified as a class action and the oversight role of the court in proceedings as a class action Example:”Erin Brockovitz” Note: Paralegal roles?

32 F.R.C.P. rules 1 through 25 Rule 25: Substitution of Parties* Specifies when and how substitution of parties may occur, e.g., if a party dies during a case Note: Paralegal roles?

33 Class one “Quizzers” Pt. I Match terms in the left column to the related terms in the right column! Summons Plaintiffs, Defendants Complaint Summons defect dismiss Parties First pleading filed Answer Defense claim re: Plaintiff Crossclaim Response to Complaint Counterclaim 3 rd Party Complaint Rule 12(b) motions F.R.C.P. 4

34 Class one “Quizzers” Pt. II Summons 16 12Time computations Serving motions 4 5Motion to dismiss, defective summons Motion to amend an answer 14 6Claims must have a short statement of it’s grounds Filing 3 rd party lawsuits 15 8Planning conference MATCHING QUESTIONS: Using the chart below, make notes as to what rule relates to the topics in the left and right columns. The interior columns contain the rules you may choose from:


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