Learning to draft effective complaints and similar pleadings is an art; like other arts it takes time and, above all, practice. This art is an important one. If done well, the complaint is succinct, adequate, and permits the action to proceed. If done poorly, the complaint will lead to costly delay, negative impressions of the advocate’s ability, and worst of all, dismissal and possible loss of the client’s cause of action. Like other skills addressed in this text, learn this one well and your value to the firm and the client increases significantly. Before you draft the complaints for these cases, you will learn the purposes for the complaints, the structure and components of both state and federal complaints of various kinds, how to ensure each complaint states a cause of action, and how to
properly include exhibits and appendices. Further, you will practice drafting complaints according to a checklist, learn about pleading for an injunction (another form of action), and continue to expand your litigation system.
The first of the pleadings, and the focus of this session, is the complaint. The purpose of the complaint is to: (1) commence the lawsuit and toll the statute of limitations, (2) introduce the cause of action, (3) invoke the court’s jurisdiction, and (4) present the facts, thus (5) informing the defendant about who is suing him or her, for what reason, and for how much money or other award. This gives the defendant “notice” and the opportunity to respond to the allegations and to prepare adequately for trial. Thus, the complaint helps ensure fairness and compliance with procedural due process.
In this session the following topics will be covered:
Date: February 16, 2017
Time: 10:00am to 10:15am PST
To learn more about complaints purchase the text The Litigation Paralegal, A Systems Approach from Cengage Learning. Paralegal Power Breaks are short information packed sessions that provide useful career information to paralegals at all career levels.