A significant portion of a litigator’s work occurs before stepping into a courtroom. Apart from discovery, litigators spend much of their pre-trial time involved in presenting and defending against motions which may be significant as to a litigant’s tactical position at trial and, if not resolved prior to trial, would have to be resolved during trial. A motion is an application made to a court for the purpose of obtaining a ruling or order. Motions may be directed toward procedural matters, such as motions to stay or compel production of evidence, to expedite proceedings or to substitute parties. Motions may also seek rulings on substantive matters, such as rulings on evidence or the law of the case. This chapter provides a brief look at the more common motions which may significantly affect the conduct of the trial or the identification of the court where the trial will take place and the legal standards applied by the courts in addressing such motions.
© 2010 David L. Finger