Discussion Question 1: Procedural Motion Used during Litigation
The beginning of a law suit is an important document because it sets the claims being made by a Plaintiff and calls for a defendant to raise any defenses. The Complaint and the Answer are the documents used in both federal and state courts. The Complaint needs to employ the facts and the law, element by element, so that the party being sued can understand why the defendant is being sued. The Answer responds, line by line, to each of the allegations made by the Plaintiff and raises all defenses to the claim.
The textbook describes the process and procedures a plaintiff uses to start a civil action in a federal district court. It also describes how a defendant appears in a case to defend. Give an example of a procedural motion used during litigation. What would a plaintiff’s or a defendant’s reply to such a motion be? Support your answer with appropriate reasoning.
Discussion Question 2: Expert Testimony
Often experts will make or break a case, especially when the expert supports a novel theory. Experts are witnesses but are allowed to give opinions. Their opinions are limited to only those areas for which the expert is qualified. Experts are not generally allowed to render conclusions based on the evidence directly, so their use is also limited. Experts are expensive so be certain to use them when necessary.
The textbook describes what an expert is and how lawyers use experts to obtain evidence, evaluate cases, and prepare for trial. Describe the difference between an expert opinion and an expert conclusion. Give a hypothetical example of each. Which of your examples would be admissible as expert testimony? Justify your answers with examples and reasoning.