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Motions - The Art of Shaping your Case
Motions are the vehicles by which you move the court to do something. Generally, they are considered filed when accepted by the court. Then, the opposing party has typically 30 days to respond unless the judge sets another time. In ordinary products liability cases, there are critical motions to be filed at the beginning, middle, and end of a trial but here are some of the most important ones:
- Motion for Summary Judgment: Whether through 2-615 (defective pleadings) or 2-619 (affirmative matters), rest assured that defense counsel in products liability cases will move to summarily end the case. Normally, they will raise defenses such as statute of limitations, comparative negligence, assumption of risk, or other claims in trying to shoot down your case before it starts. However, keep in mind that this might just be a gambit to whittle down your case and make their job easier even if they are unsuccessful. Therefore, look at the sample plaintiff responses below for advice on drafting.
- Motion to Exclude Evidence: Motions to exclude evidence in products liability cases are very common in Illinois. Often times the defendant’s counsel will want to keep evidence of other accidents involving the same product for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, this evidence could be highly influential to the jury. Also, plaintiff’s counsel could use this to support their claims. Finally, evidence of other incidents could be used to establish notice. For all these reasons, motions to exclude are incredibly common in products liability cases and understanding how to respond to them is vital to your case.
- Motion to Bar Testimony: Motions to bar testimony in products liability cases normally center on expert witnesses. Typically, the defense will argue that the expert’s credentials are immaterial or insufficient to the relevant subject matter of the case. In other instances, the objecting counsel might say that the prospective witness’ testimony may be too prejudicial and outweighs any probative value.
Here are some sample motions from Illinois products liability cases:
- Motion 1 - product liability motion to reconsider
- Motion 2 - product liability plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment
- Motion 3 - product liability motion to strike expert testimony
- Motion 4 - product liability motion for directed verdict
- Motion 5 - product liability defendant’s 615 motion to dismiss
- Motion 6 - product liability plaintiff’s response to 615 motion
- Motion 7 - product liability defendant’s 619 motion to dismiss
- Motion 8 - product liability plaintiff’s response to 619 motion to dismiss
- Motion 9 - product liability motion to consolidate
- Motion 10 - product liability motion for class action settlement agreement
- Motion 11 - product liability motion to vacate
- Motion 12 - product liability motion in opposition of remittitur
- Motion 13 - product liability plaintiff’s motion to compel defendant’s response to discovery request
- Motion 14 - product liability motion to approve final settlement and attorney’s fees
- Motion 15 - product liability motion in limine to exclude evidence
- Motion 16 - product liability motion to bar expert testimony
- Motion 17 - product liability plaintiff’s motion for new trial