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A common tactic big and mid-size firms use are motion practices to overwhelm small firms. This tactic can be even more effective against a pro se (unrepresented) individual or business. An ineffective response to a motion can rob a party of present to the jury or the party's day in court.
Additionally, many small firms are simply too busy to effective use motion practice as an offensive weapon. An effective motion can force an opponent to "put up or shut up," addressing discovery disputes, getting admissions (though a statement of uncontroverted fact), or putting pressure on an opponent to impress upon them your theory of the case. Relying on outside counsel can be an extremely cost-effective way to keep other cases moving while achieving these goals through powerful and effective motion practice.
One of the most common motions a small firm or pro se litigant must deal with is a response to a summary judgment motion by an opposing party. Under Missouri, Kansas, and Federal law, responding to a motion for summary judgment requires strict compliance with very technical rules. Further, responding to such a motion can have lasting consequences beyond living to see another day in court. Sloppy replies can lead to facts that are admitted for the entire litigation, and these can produce headaches at trial.
In contrast, effectively responding to a motion for summary judgment can have a positive impact on a case. A strong response can place the full theory of the case to not only your opponent, but also the court. This can prompt settlement, as well as setting up motions in limine, trial briefs, and other motions. Depending on the timing, the response can also serve as a powerful tool for trial preparation, outlining key pieces of evidence for each element of an action.
Many big and mid-size firms will attempt to use federal court as a means of combating small firms and pro se litigants. Federal court favors motion practice much more than state courts of either Missouri or Kansas. Additionally, federal courts apply rules of civil procedure (and local rules) much more strictly than most state courts. This means there is only one chance to get things right.
However, taking time to familiarize yourself with the rules of Federal Civil Procedure, plus local rules, plus (in some instances) rules of the particular judge can quickly clog up a small firm's practice. After all, other cases don't pause when a motion is filed in one case; instead, these cases keep needing attention, day in and day out. This is where hiring outside counsel to assist in drafting, researching, and even arguing cases can be a cost-effective and a very simple solution.
The attorney at Doyle & Associates LLC takes pride in its experience with motion practice and appellate work. We are particularly excited to offer assistance to fellow small firms. Our attorneys have experience in large firms, defense work, and the Missouri Attorney General's Office. This experience offers experiences outside of what many other small-firm attorneys specialize.
Additionally, we offer options concerning billing. These include hourly, flat-fees, and, in appropriate circumstances, contingency fees. We pride ourselves on openness and honesty in fees. And all fees are discussed up front and reduced to writing before any work is completed.