Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


On the first day of trial, I tried a preemptive move to eliminate most of the corporate plaintiff's case against my clients.

I had learned that the corporation was evidently suspended when it filed the complaint. Filings by suspended corporations do not stop the statute of limitations. So, I argued the case was time-barred.

In support of my argument, I offered a certified record from the State of Delaware (the state of incorporation). The record indicated that the company was suspended about two months before the complaint's filing, and continued in suspended status for the relevant period. The other side claimed that the corporation had been revived before the filing (contrary to the certified record).

The court allowed the plaintiff some extra time to try to obtain such a document--although it expressed its displeasure that it hadn't been previously obtained. The plaintiff's attorney represented the CEO had obtained the document at the attorney's request. When this crucial document did not materialize as represented, the court became concerned that the truth had become a casualty.

As a result, the judge called the CEO to the witness stand. The court quizzed the CEO about whether the attorney had asked him to otain the record and when. The CEO denied the attorney had even asked him to obtain it, and of course, he had no such document.

Thus, the court concluded either the plaintff's attorney or his client was prevaricating. Not a good way to start a trial. Good for my side though.