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Broken Rules: Decisions Show Procedural Errors Can Doom CasesBroken Rules: Decisions Show Procedural Errors Can Doom Cases

PLAINTIFFS AND DEFENDANTS can be victorious on substantive legal grounds. All too often, however, it seems as if litigants lose by failing to comply with the rules of litigation. Recent decisions by the Appellate Division, Second Department, illustrate how parties who fail to properly prosecute their cases or comply with discovery requests, or who simply default, can doom themselves. Some of these decisions also demonstrate the lengths to which the court system will go in an effort to avoid having a dispute resolved on non-substantive grounds.

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