Legal Blog

More than 40 Years Later, the Unresolved Question in Lipsky Remains Up for Debate

Can you rely on allegations contained in a separate, unadjudicated proceeding to make your own case in court? That question, first considered by the Second Circuit over 40 years ago in Lipsky v. Commonwealth United Corp., remains unresolved to this day. Some courts interpret the Lipsky ruling as a “bright line” rule that precludes litigants from relying on others’ unproven assertions. Other courts argue that Lipsky opens the door to such kinds of pleadings, albeit in certain circumstances. And others say the point is moot, citing Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires filing attorneys to certify that documents filed bear factual relevance to the case.

In this article, Mr. Steckman and his colleague Joseph Johnson explore why Lipsky has remained an unresolved legal issue since 1976, examining several decisions that offer conflicting interpretations. Read why the authors believe that the absolute interpretation of Lipsky is the only interpretation that protects litigants and trial courts, and why “each of the other approaches cannot help but involve the court in making what are likely to be highly intuitive assessments of foreign pleadings, the truth of which cannot be determined by the motion court.”

Download “When May a Litigant Rely in its Own Complaint on Allegations From Another Complaint filed a Different Action? — Lipsky v. Commonwealth United Corp and Its Progeny — Still an Unresolved Question”





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