Rule 41: Dismissal of Action

Today marks the day I began my first (non immigration law related) legal internship. That’s right – I’m the legal intern for The Serbagi Law Firm, P.C. for this semester. Super proud of myself for getting this internship. My boss/mentor is a great and extremely knowledgeable man and I’m really glad to get the opportunity to work for him. He’s been teaching me about all kinds of things related to trademark and copyright law. The firm specializes in trademark litigation, and most of their trademark dockets are for pharmaceutical companies. Really cool – I’ve already learned how they write up their local and international dockets, as well as some of the case history for their current clients. But all of that is confidential and won’t be discussed on my blog, of course.

Today, I wrote up a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal to be filed with the U.S. District Court – Southern Court of New York. If you are at all interested, here is a link to the PDF Template for this form, found on the USDC website. Because there was already a settlement agreement between the plaintiffs and defendants in this case, the case was being dismissed with prejudice I believe. He might have changed it to without – I’m not quite sure as I didn’t look at the final draft.

The next question I had was, of course – What does it mean to dismiss a claim with or without prejudice?

Dismissal with Prejudice: (Taken from A dismissal with prejudice is dismissal of a case on merits after adjudication.The plaintiff is barred from bringing an action on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicata on the claims that were or could have been brought in it.

Basically, to dismiss a case with prejudice means that no further action can be brought to court based on the same claim. If a breach in contract was the basis for the original claim by the plaintiff, a dismissal of that claim with prejudice means that the plaintiff will no longer be able to sue or re-file another claim based on that same breach. That’s what I make of it.

Trademark law is fascinating. I’m starting to really get into it. Intellectual property rights and trademark litigation require all the logical reasoning and problem solving techniques they require that you master on the LSAT, but don’t have the heavy economics or finance background that a career in mergers and acquisitions would require. And because I don’t WANT a math-heavy job, but don’t necessarily want to deal primarily in civil or criminal law, this kind of career is starting to appeal more and more to me. I can see myself doing my boss’s job as my own career. And that’s a good feeling.

Today’s day at the office though, involved learning all about Rule 41: Dismissal of Action from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. I had to apply that rule to the Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal that I wrote up. Because the other party, namely the defendants, had already filed a counterclaim against the plaintiff’s action, the stipulation that I wrote had to dismiss the plaintiff’s action against the defendants but also, in a new paragraph, dismiss the defendant’s counterclaims. To dismiss the original action, I used rule 41(a)(1)(A)(ii). To dismiss the counterclaim, I used rule 41(c)(1).

Like I said…fascinating stuff. I’m really enjoying this. And now that I’m done typing up this post, I’m going to go head home. We still have no WiFi in the apartment – Verizon claims they don’t even have our order number anymore. Wtf? I looked up their number while here, so between now and this evening, I need to resolve this matter with Verizon.

Wish me luck!


6 thoughts on “Rule 41: Dismissal of Action

  1. Maybe when I discover a new drug someday or have an amazing idea, you can help protect my intellectual property rights to it. 🙂

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