First, a motion is simply a request to the court that is put into writing.

A motion to strike means that we are asking the court to throw out the answer that was submitted by the defense lawyer.

When a lawsuit is started, we are obligated to file papers known as a 'summons and complaint'. The complaint makes general allegations of wrongdoing against the person you have sued. Those papers must be delivered to the person you are suing.

That person, through their lawyer, has an opportunity to respond to the allegations. That is known as an 'answer'.

These documents, known as a summons and complaint, as well as an answer, are technically known in the legal world as “pleadings.”

If the defense lawyer does something inappropriate or has not provided us with information that the court has directed, we have a legal opportunity to ask the court to do something drastic.

One of the most drastic things the court can do is to strike the defendants' answer.

Let me give you a good analogy.

Let's say the Yankees are playing the Mets at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

The Mets, for whatever reason, don't show up.

The Yankees would automatically get a default win since the Mets failed to show up.

If the judge strikes the defendants answer, a similar thing happens.

You get an automatic win simply for showing up.

It means the defense no longer has the ability to defend the case.

Instead, the case will then proceed to the damages portion to determine how much compensation to award the injured victim.

The judge knows that this is a drastic remedy to fix whatever problem has arisen.

However, there have been instances where the conduct of the lawyer or the person being sued requires drastic sanctions.

Although this is rare, it does happen from time to time.

To learn what a "Motion to compel" is, I invite you to watch the video below...


Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer