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PRL 101 Lecture Slides, Feb. 15, 2011
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PRL 101 Lecture Slides, Feb. 15, 2011


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  • 1. Chapter 7: Civil Litigation
  • 2. Quiz
    • Closed book/closed notes
    • You may collaborate with your team
    • You are responsible for the answers on your quiz
    • You do not have to choose the same answers as your team
  • 3. Governing Rules & Law
    • State & Federal Law:
      • Apply to dispute between parties
    • Civil Procedure Rules
      • Ala. R. Civ. P.
      • Fed. R. Civ. P.
      • Apply court process
  • 4. Pleadings
    • Complaint
    • Answer
    • Cross-Complaint
  • 5. Complaint
    • Cause of action
      • The legal theory that forms the basis of a lawsuit
    • Complaint
      • a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and a demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks. Ala. R. Civ. P. 8(a)
  • 6. Alabama pleading standard
    • “ A complaint should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief.”
    • Bowling v. Pow, 301 So.2d 55 (Ala. 1973), citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)
  • 7. Complaint Assignment
    • Using form on website, draft complaint stating cause of action for conversion and seeking injunction and damages
    • Facts?
    • What do we need to include?
    • Cover Sheet: C-93
      • eForms > Civil > C-93 (last page)
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10. Fictitious party practice
    • What happens when a statute of limitations approaches and plaintiff doesn’t know the names of all defendants?
      • When a party is ignorant of the name of an opposing party and so alleges in the party's pleading, the opposing party may be designated by any name, and when that party's true name is discovered, the process and all pleadings and proceedings in the action may be amended by substituting the true name. Ala. R. Civ. P. 9(h)
      • Plaintiff v. John Doe
  • 11. Summons
    • The summons . . . shall be signed by the clerk, contain the name of the court and the name of the first party on each side . . ., be directed to the defendant . . ., state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, . . ., and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify the defendant that, in case of the defendant's failure to do so, judgment by default will be rendered against the defendant for the relief demanded in the complaint. Ala. R. Civ. P. 4(a)(2)
  • 12. Service
    • Individual: by serving the individual or by leaving a copy of the summons and the complaint at the individual's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. Ala. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(1)
    • Business: by serving an officer, a partner (other than a limited partner), a managing or general agent, or any agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process Ala. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(6)
  • 13. Answer
    • Admit/deny allegations of complaint
    • Raise affirmative defenses
  • 14. Statute of Limitations
    • 6 months: election contest
    • 2 year: most civil actions
    • 3 years: Money due on open account; disbarment
    • 4 years: Actions against surety
    • 5 years: equity of redemption
    • 6 years: intentional torts, contracts
    • 10 years: contracts under seal; recovery of lands
    • 20 years: enforcement of judgments
    • No limit: state/municipal action to recover lands
  • 15.  
  • 16. Discovery
    • Relevance: any information reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence
    • But:
      • Privilege
        • Attorney-client
        • Work-Product
      • Objections
        • Overbroad, unduly burdensome, lacks relevance
  • 17. photo credits
    • The Guy with the hat:
    • Civil Procedure:
    • Crime scene:
    • Discovery: NASA