Strategies for Early Dismissal of Meritless Cases

Young mass tort practitioners should understand the importance of identifying and seeking voluntary dismissal of meritless cases. For defense attorneys, voluntary dismissal of meritless cases avoids unnecessary and expensive motion practice, reduces improper settlement leverage, and validates the continued use of consolidated litigation (often criticized as maintaining frivolous claims). For plaintiffs’ attorneys, voluntary dismissal saves time and money otherwise spent opposing summary judgment on cases that cannot prevail at trial, increases actually injured clients’ recoveries, and avoids fee-shifting sanctions. More important, perhaps, proactively dismissing bad cases avoids drawing the ire of the court. A recent order in the Mentor Obtape multidistrict litigation (MDL) demonstrates why leaving meritless cases for the judge to deal with can be a bad idea.

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Maxwell Herman is an associate with Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, in New York City, New York.


Copyright © 2017, American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association, the Section of Litigation, this committee, or the employer(s) of the author(s).

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