Category: Civil Procedure

Supreme Court: Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates

What did the Supreme Court Decide in Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates? In Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, the Supreme Court of the United States held that an intervenor as of right must also demonstrate that it has Article III standing if it seeks relief different from what the original plaintiff is seeking. Intervention Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a non-party to intervene in a litigation.  Intervention is where a non-party moves to join the litigation as either a plaintiff or defendant.  A party may seek to intervene as a matter of right...

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How do parties make and oppose motions in the United States?

  The video above presents several important aspects of motion practice, including what a motion is, the notice of motion, supporting the motion, and opposing the motion. Keep in mind that different motions (and different courts) require different steps when making and opposing a motion.  For example, a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 in federal court requires certain supporting documentation that would not be required for a Rule 12 motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.  State court motions will look a bit different from state to state. Get a Civ Pro Quiz Ebook! 101 Civ Pro Questions and Explanations...

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What is the difference between judgment as a matter of law and summary judgment?

Briefly, motions for JMOL and summary judgment are very similar in that  judges apply similar legal standards when deciding these motions, but they are different because they take place at different times during a civil case.  Summary judgment is a pre-trial motion, JMOL is an in-trial or post trial motion. In the federal courts JMOL is governed by Rule 50.  The moving party must wait until its adversary has had an opportunity to present its case before moving for JMOL.  In the motion, the moving party asks the court to rule in its favor because the law and the evidence demonstrate that the moving party must win on one or more issues.  There is no need for a jury to deliberate.  A motion for JMOL has tactical advantages because if the judge denies the motion, the moving party can move again after the trial (a “renewed” motion for JMOL) pursuant to Rule 59. A summary judgment motion, Rule 56, also asks the judge to rule in favor of one party on one or more issues.  Similar to JMOL, the motion argues that the evidence and the law so clearly favors the moving party that the judge should rule in the moving party’s favor.  Typically motions for summary judgment take place after discovery is complete  because at that point the parties have shared all the important evidence in the case.  However, it...

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