Law, like many professions, has its own language. The term “demurrer” is one such special word. So, what’s a Demurrer and why should you care?
What is it? A “demurrer” challenges the pleading (typically the Plaintiff’s Complaint) on its face based on the “4 corners” of the Complaint. If you receive a lawsuit and your reaction is “this doesn’t make any sense”, or “this is garbage”, it might be a good time to consider a demurrer, instead of allowing a poorly drafted complaint with too many defendants and too many causes of action to go forward.
Why use it? In short to save money and take the “air our of the balloon” for the Plaintiff. Given California State Court backlogs are extending the time to get to a motion for summary judgment (MSJ) hearing, the availability of a demurrer (often filed with a companion motion to strike) is an early opportunity to lower your client’s exposure, reduce the number of issues litigated and hence reduce your client’s litigation costs over the life of the case.
“Demurrers are Dead”. We often have heard this phrase from lawyers, but we have not found it to be true. In a number of cases, we’ve prevailed on demurres, effectively using them to “shape” the case early and even remove claims for attorneys fee, which alters the negotiations between the parties. In the current environment, it is more likely the “MSJ is dead” as courts, particularly in plaintiff’s employment cases, appear very reluctant to end cases without a trial. That was not always the case, and may not be in the future, but seems to be the trend currently.
Aggressiveness is “Over-Sold”. A common misconception is that being an “aggressive” litigant or an “aggressive” attorney or “aggressive” here or there gives you an advantage over another party. Quite often this takes the practical form of (a) threats of lawsuit or (b) filing poorly thought out lawsuits in the hopes of extracting some quick fear-based settlement. If you are contemplating a lawsuit, or have been served, we’d suggest getting counsel from a few level-headed litigators before deciding to file or responding to the suit. It just might save you a lot of money, and heartburn, and get you a better result.
About Adishian Law Group, P.C. Adishian Law Group (http://www.AdishianLaw.com) is a California law firm with a statewide practice in the areas of Corporate law, Employment law, Real Estate law and Mediation Services. As of November 2015, the firm has represented corporate and individual clients located across 22 California counties, 13 States outside of California and 9 foreign countries in over 480 legal matters. Adishianlaw.com is one of the oldest continually operating law firm websites on the Internet. The firm serves its clientele via three offices located in the major business hubs of El Segundo, Palo Alto and San Francisco.
For more information about this case, contact Chris Adishian: