Wednesday, July 12, 2017

MBE Fast Fact: Complaints

It's important to understand the standard for complaints in a civil case.  As per the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must state: (1) the grounds of federal jurisdiction; (2) a short statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; (3) a demand for judgment for relief which may be in the alternative. Importantly, the facts stated in the complaint should support a plausible and not just possible claim.  Seems like a rather fine distinction to make, but the MBE tends to test such things.

One other point to note: if alleging fraud or mistake, then the standard stated above is slightly modified. Here, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake.  For example, when alleging fraud, the complaint should specifically state the precise misconduct that constitutes the fraud.

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