Getting Sued: How to Respond to a Lawsuit

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Responding to a Lawsuit

If you've been served with a lawsuit naming you as a defendant, you may be feeling shocked, angered, or nervous. 

Tutorial Preview

Whether you are representing yourself in court (“pro se” or “pro per”) — or are an attorney representing a defendant —  you must evaluate and select the best strategic response to the plaintiff's complaint — if you want to start your defense on solid ground.

Litigation attorney Neer Lerner breaks down the process, defines key early litigation terms, and provides easy-to-understand examples in Getting Sued: How to Respond to a Lawsuit.

Mounting an Effective Defense to the Lawsuit

In the videos, you'll learn: 

  • Common legal grounds for challenging a complaint and getting the case dismissed without a trial
  • Why you must think like a plaintiff if you want to present your defense effectively
  • How and when to start planning and preparing your defense
  • Whether or not you have grounds to file a cross-claim (AKA cross-complaint, crossclaim, etc.) against the plaintiff or others

Crafting a Response to the Lawsuit

The videos will dive deep into the different types of responses to a lawsuit. You'll learn essential information to help you prepare your response, including:

  • What to consider when deciding to file an answer or motion to dismiss
  • Tips and strategies for preparing an answer or motion to dismiss (including sample answers and motion to dismiss)
  • How to evaluate the allegations and challenge or deny the plaintiff's complaint
  • Tips on avoiding missteps in early litigation that can cost you the case
  • Steps to identify if the plaintiff's claims (causes of action) will hold up in court

Be your best advocate:  Study Getting Sued: How to Respond to a Lawsuit (and your jurisdiction's laws and court rules) — and begin your formidable defense today.

For more information on filing or defending a lawsuit, be sure to view Courtroom Introduction: Etiquette, Procedure, and Who’s Who? and Writing a Pre-Lawsuit Demand Letter.

Sample answers (general denial and specific denial) are available for download with purchase.