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Stubborn Facts Can Make Bad Pleadings

Summer 2021 - OACTA Quarterly Review
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"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." While most people associate John Adams’ famous quote with closing argument, facts can be stubborn things throughout the entirety of a lawsuit – including the pleading stage. And although "notice pleading" is all that is required, parties to a lawsuit often miss the "notice" part. Civ.R. 8 requires only a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the party is entitled to relief." And while it is essentially the same as its Federal counterpart, the Ohio Supreme Court has yet to adopt the Federal plausibility standard. But that does not mean a pleader can assert elements, without facts, and survive. Ohio courts still apply some Federal pleading principles in deciding whether a party is entitled to relief. And while often ignored by parties and courts, a well-timed Motion can force additional facts and strategies out at the beginning of a case.

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