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Civil Procedure

The Complaint, the Answer, and the Pre-Answer Motion

The Complaint, the Answer, and the Pre-Answer Motion

Learn about the mechanisms by which a lawsuit begins, including the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint, the defendant’s pre-answer motion, the waiver of certain defenses if not raised before filing an answer, and the defendant’s answer.


It’s time to discuss the complaint, the answer, and pre-trial motions.

First, we’ll talk about the complaint, which is the plaintiff’s opening salvo. Next, we’ll discuss the defendant’s retaliatory strikes, usually consisting of: (1) A pre-answer motion, and/or (2) an answer. In this discussion, we’ll cover how the defendant must respond to the plaintiff’s allegations, and how to raise affirmative defenses—including certain defenses which, if not raised near the beginning of the case, are...