Plead and Proof
This came in to another group I subscribe to and I thought it would be very helpful to anyone who either is, or might, be prosecuting or defending a lawsuit. I would like to see more posts as practical posted to my group. Thank you usc15. Bear
From: usc15_s1666 [mailto:usc15_s1666@...]
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 8:56 PM
Causes of Action ... The Golden Key Whether you're the plaintiff or defendant, the golden key to winning lawsuits is in understanding causes of action and the essential elements of fact that must be pled and proved to
prevail with each cause of action. Failure to plead all the essential elements is fatal, because the other side will move to dismiss for "failure to state a cause of action". Failure to prove all the essential elements is also fatal, because that's what it takes to win ... when the time comes for counting. As some of you already know, courts have only limited jurisdiction. They cannot hear (nor award damages for) every complaint that comes along. You can't just say, "So-and-so hurt me, and I want the court to make him pay me money!" Unless the complaint states what we lawyers call a "cause of action" (at least one) the court cannot award damages and must dismiss the lawsuit (if the other side demonstrates that you haven't pled all the essential elements required by the causes of action in your complaint). Moreover, even if you plead all the essential elements by stating all the necessary facts in your complaint, the court lacks jurisdiction to enter final judgment for the plaintiff unless the plaintiff states and proves all the factual elements necessary to establish at least one of his causes of action. That's what it takes to win! Plead and prove. Anything less is not enough. Stating all the facts necessary to plead a cause of action is no use at all unless the plaintiff can also prove each and every essential element of his causes of action. He must not only list in his complaint the essential elements of fact required to state the causes of action the court has jurisdiction to rule upon, but he must ultimately prove each and every one of those essential fact elements before the court can award him the judgment he seeks. If you're a defendant, learn what elements the plaintiff must plead and prove ... and do what you can to show either (1) he didn't state all the necessary elements or (2) he cannot prove them by the greater weight of the evidence. If you're a plaintiff, (1) make certain you state all essential facts necessary to assert all the elements of every one of your causes of action and (2) make certain you can prove them all as well using admissible evidence (not a hand-written letter from your late Aunt Suzy that will be excluded as hearsay). This is how you win lawsuits. Everything else is secondary. Understanding the essential fact elements you must plead and prove to get a judgment on various causes of action is the golden key to winning lawsuits.
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