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Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Experienced in the practice of law.
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Is it normal for separate defendants attorneys to share pleadings

Resolved Question:

Is it normal for separate defendants' attorneys to share pleadings amongst each other? In my Federal case, one defendant's attorney, Mr X, is clearly over his head and has been calling both me (the pro se plaintiff) for help on how to plead, and the second defendant's counsel. The pleadings filed by Mr. X are exact duplicates of the second defendant - same cases, exact same wording, everything. The only changes made are the names - and I've even seen several instances where he didn't catch the name and change it.
Would the second defendant (not his counsel) be interested in knowing that he has been providing defendant 1 with his defense, as in paying for it too?
Is there the possibility of a rule 11 violation since Mr X didn't do any of his own research?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Lady Themis replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

It is common for pleadings to be somewhat standardized. There even exist pleading manuals for attorneys' use in preparing pleadings. The pleadings should of course be tweaked as necessary to accommodate the circumstances and particular factual scenario.

Using a pleading in this nature is not necessarily a Rule 11 violation. Rule 11 generally imposes sanctions for attorneys' and parties' failure to plead for a proper purpose, for filing pleadings unwarranted by existing law, and making factual allegations that are unlikely to be supported by evidence.

There may be other rules violated here, such as the attorney's professional duty to adequately and knowingly represent a client with competence (Rule 1.1. of the Model Rules).

It may also be that the defense is not supported by fact or law, and may be dismissed.

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions, which I am happy to answer. Once you are satisfied, please kindly rate my service, as that is how I am compensated by the website. Thank you.

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