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CHAPTER 13

Sculpting the Lawsuit

The Basic Rules of Joinder

INTRODUCTION

A great deal of time is spent during the first year of law school analyzing decided cases, doing postmortems on past lawsuits. But every lawsuit also has a beginning, and at the beginning someone must make important tactical decisions about the scope of the lawsuit, that is, whom to sue and which claims to assert. The traditional rule in American courts has been, and largely still is, that “the plaintiff is master of his claim,” that it is up to the plaintiff (or his lawyer) to decide who the parties to the suit will be and which claims will be asserted in the action.

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