Author Archives: mary

Should you list Doe Defendants in federal court complaints?

No. While naming “Does from 1 through 50, inclusive,” may be a common practice in California state court complaints, naming Doe defendants is generally not done in federal court. The naming of Doe defendants in federal question cases should be permissible when … Continue reading

Lost in state court? Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, you don’t get second chances in federal court.

A litigant may lose in state court, whether at trial or on a motion to dismiss, and decide to give it a second try by refiling the case in federal court. Pro se litigants are more likely to seek second … Continue reading

Affirmative Defenses in Federal Court Answers

In federal court, as in California state court, the affirmative defenses you list in your Answer will depend on an individualized analysis of the complaint and the facts of the case. Reference to treatises such as California Affirmative Defenses may … Continue reading

Is there a federal equivalent to the CCP 998 Offer in Compromise?

Sort of. There is a similar mechanism under Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, called a statutory offer of judgment, but unlike California law only defendants can utilize it. If a plaintiff turns down defendant’s Rule 68 offer … Continue reading

What exactly is the “discovery cutoff date”?

Magistrate Judges in federal court usually issue the scheduling orders, which inform the litigants of discovery deadlines, pretrial motion deadlines, settlement conference date, pretrial conference date, and trial date. Some scheduling orders are more detailed than others. Nearly all of … Continue reading

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