No Prejudice in This Dismissal

GavelA lawyer friend in Jacksonville, FL sent along this funny story about a plaintiff who objected to his complaint being dismissed “with prejudice”:

At a mediation, a settlement agreement was reached, so the mediator formalized it in a written document.  The plaintiff’s lawyer was going over each of the terms in the document  with the plaintiff.  When they  got to the term that stated “Plaintiff will dismiss the Complaint with prejudice,” the client looked up and adamantly stated, “I will not!  I am not prejudiced, and believe everyone is equal under the eyes of God.”

For non-lawyers, “dismissed with prejudice” is a legal term of art meaning that a case cannot be re-filed.  “Dismissed without prejudice” means that case can later be re-filed.  Needless to say, for settlements and other final dispositions of cases, defendants insist that the case be dismissed with prejudice.

 

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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