Motions: Practice and Procedure

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Motions Can Make or Break Your Case

When you want a judge (or party) to take a specific action in your lawsuit, you must use the proper procedure (motions) to present the request to the court. Failure to properly present — or respond to — motions is a major reason that people who represent themselves in court ("pro se" or "pro per") lose their case.

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If you are:

  • Representing yourself in a lawsuit; or
  • An attorney representing a client in a lawsuit;

Then you must understand that motions drive almost every step in the litigation process — and are therefore crucial to your case.

A motion is a formal request asking the judge to make a particular ruling or order in a lawsuit. Self-represented parties — and even attorneys — often make detrimental mistakes when preparing, opposing, and arguing motions.

In Motions: Practice and Procedure, litigation attorneys Neer Lerner and Elliott Malone share practical insights and knowledge about motions that can help you protect your case, strengthen your defenses, and incorporate strategic measures at every stage of your lawsuit.

You'll learn:

  • Motion basics in simple language;
  • Types of motions and when to use them;
  • Essential tips for writing an effective motion;
  • The significance of a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment; and

Other insights and strategies to help you understand the mechanisms, advantages, and best practices for court motions — with writing tips to help you present them as persuasively as possible.

Essential Tips for Writing an Effective Motion

This video series will break down the typical components of a motion — so you can prepare to write your own — in accordance with your court’s local rules.

Once you have an understanding of motion structure and different types of motions, you'll learn how to write your motion professionally and persuasively. Poorly constructed motions can annoy the judge and decrease your chances of achieving your lawsuit goals.

You'll learn helpful writing tips, including:

  • How to write a strong introduction paragraph to grab the judge’s attention and effectively lay out your arguments;
  • What information (and words) to avoid in your motion if you don't want to irritate the judge or embarrass yourself;
  • Why your credibility is your strongest asset in your case — and how to avoid damaging mistakes in your motion that can destroy it;
  • How to use headings and subheadings to make it easy for the judge to find relevant information quickly; and
  • Many other tips for eloquently writing (and opposing) motions with the goal of putting yourself in the best position to achieve a favorable ruling.

Your purchase includes a downloadable sample complaint to study and use as inspiration for your case.

Sample Motions

In addition to video instruction, you will have access to the following sample motions that can inspire your own motions:

  • Motion to Dismiss
  • Motion to Compel Discovery Responses
  • Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence at Trial

The Importance of Motions for Summary Judgment and Motions to Dismiss

If your opponent files a motion to dismiss (AKA demurrer) or a motion for summary judgment, you may be in danger of losing your case before ever going to trial — unless you can plan and prepare a strong opposition to the motion.

Motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment are often the most challenging to oppose — and either one could end your lawsuit before it ever goes to trial.

On this crucial topic, you will learn:

  • The number one reason self-represented parties lose their case when the opposing party files a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment— and what to do about it;
  • Common legal grounds to file a motion to dismiss a lawsuit for being legally deficient;
  • What courts consider in ruling on a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment — and how you can structure your opposition accordingly;
  • Why you must review the opponent's opposition to your motion before going to the court hearing for oral arguments — with a video simulation of a fictitious lawsuit where you'll see how a party wins his motion for summary judgment; and
  • Additional valuable tips and insights regarding motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment that can help protect you from your opponent and better assist you to prepare and oppose critical motions.

Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant — an attorney or a party representing yourself ("pro se" or "pro per") — knowledge of motions is critical to a successful outcome in your case.

Study Motions: Practice and Procedure, together with your jurisdiction’s local rules, and you’ll be better equipped to understand how motions work and how to prepare (or oppose) motions to achieve your lawsuit goals.