Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18

Rule 18. Joinder of Claims

(a) IN GENERAL. A party asserting a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim may join, as independent or alternative claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing party.

(b) JOINDER OF CONTINGENT CLAIMS. A party may join two claims even though one of them is contingent on the disposition of the other; but the court may grant relief only in accordance with the parties’ relative substantive rights. In particular, a plaintiff may state a claim for money and a claim to set aside a conveyance that is fraudulent as to that plaintiff, without first obtaining a judgment for the money.


Essential Points

  • Joinder is Civ Pro talk for joining together multiple claims and parties.  The Federal Rules allow a party to join together multiple claims against multiple parties in a single complaint.  If some claims are only applicable to certain parties the complaint will clarify who is alleged to be liable for which cause of action.

Why do the Federal Rules favor joinder?

The Federal Rules encourage parties to a dispute to settle all their claims in one action on a theory that this will be efficient. Separate lawsuits risk inconsistent verdicts. Also, the Rules assume that it will be more efficient to have a single judge familiar with the case to preside over all claims.