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Pleading Pitfalls

Pleading Pitfalls

Learn to avoid the most common mistakes young associates make when drafting complaints, answers, and other pleadings.


Welcome to Pleading Pitfalls! Here, we’ll learn how to avoid several common pleading mistakes.

First, though, let’s acquaint ourselves with pleadings and their role in litigation. Black’s Law Dictionary says a pleading is, quote, “[a] formal document in which a party to a legal proceeding . . . sets forth or responds to allegations, claims, denials, or defenses,” unquote. As you know, the first pleading in any civil case is usually the complaint. The complaint explains what the defendant did...