Prerequisites to Drafting Complaints in Federal Court

Stewart Edelstein
Unless you prepare properly by considering all the prerequisites to drafting a complaint, you will fail in representing your client effectively.

Unless you prepare properly by considering all the prerequisites to drafting a complaint, you will fail in representing your client effectively.

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By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

—Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom applies to drafting complaints.

Complaints control everything in your case—who the parties are, what the issues are, what discovery is permissible, what remedies are available, and what defenses may be alleged. Unless you prepare properly by considering all the prerequisites to drafting a complaint, you will fail in representing your client effectively.

These prerequisites involve timing of bringing suit, applicable contract terms, standing issues, jurisdictional issues, factual and legal issues, and issues related to client expectations. This article applies the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, so you must consider these prerequisites in the context of Rule 11.

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