• January 9, 2015
Julie Andrews Still Photo From The Sound of Music

Julie Andrews Still Photo From The Sound of Music

In the seventh installment of “These are a few of my favorite things” (TAAFOMFT) in which Minnesota Litigator engages in the art of whining + irony, we touch on the sometimes punishingly slow rotation of the wheels of justice. I am not talking about the sometimes extremely long wait between the argument of a motion (or appeal) and the court’s decision on the motion (or appeal), as frustrating as that is.

I am talking about a case where (1) a plaintiff sues a defendant claiming that the defendant never terminated a contract, which automatically renewed if not terminated in writing (see Complaint, ¶ 10), (2) contrary to the plaitniff’s allegations, the defendant comes forward with very strong evidence that the defendant went through great pains to terminate the contract exactly as required by the contract and then brings a motion to dismiss, (3) the plaintiff amends his complaint, removing the allegation that defendant failed to terminate the contract, (4) the defendant moves to dismiss the amended complaint, again showing its overwhelming proof that it timely terminated, but (5) the Court rules that the termination letter is “outside the pleadings” of the amended complaint, so the defendant’s motion to dismiss is denied and the defendant is compelled to go through “expedited discovery” after which it can move for partial summary judgment again

Part of the issue here is that the plaintiff cast some doubt on the termination letter, labeling it “purported” and “unauthenticated.” If it turns out the evidence of notice of termination was fabricated, then, of course, all bets are off. I speculate, however, that it was not fabricated and that the plaintiffs’ counsel took some liberties in suggesting otherwise. If it turns out that plaintiff has no actual evidence or basis to suggest the notice of termination was somehow falsified or inauthentic, does the defendant get any recourse or remedy for being forced to go through additional pointless litigation? Probably not.

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