Preliminary Motions That May Affect Your Lawsuit

If your personal injury case has moved to the trial stage, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be tried in that court or in front of the current judge or even if it will be tried at all. The defendant can file pre-trial motions that may change all of those factors and more. Here are three examples of such pretrial motions:

Change of Venue

This motion seeks to move the case from its current court to a different one. Defendants usually file a change of venue motion if they are convinced that the current court doesn't have jurisdiction over the case. For example, if you slipped and fell at a store in Oregon, and you have sued the store owner in Texas (your home state), the store owner may move for a change of venue to move the case back to Oregon. Of course, the feeling that they can get better outcome elsewhere will also be a motivating factor.


A motion for removal seeks to move the case from a state court to a federal court. For example, a defendant who fears large jury awards in your state may file a change of venue motion so that they can have the case tried in a federal court. This may be advantageous to the defendant since juries in federal courts are pooled from larger geographical areas and therefore may not show the same bias as the jury pool in your state.  This motion can only succeed with a federal case or if the defendant is from a different state.

Motion to Dismiss

A defendant files a motion to dismiss if they want the court to throw away your case. Note that in this motion, the defendant doesn't deny their liability for your injury or other facts of the case; it just means that they believe the case shouldn't be tried for other reasons. For example, a defendant can file a motion to dismiss a case if they feel that the statute of limitations has elapsed. This may be the case, for example, if your state has a statute of limitation of two years for slip and fall accidents, and the defendant is convinced that the duration has elapsed.

Not all of these motions will be disadvantageous to you as the plaintiff. Therefore, it's good to acquaint yourself with these motions so that you can know whether or not to challenge them when the defendant files a motion. A personal injury lawyer like those at the Law Offices Of Sara J Frankel PC will help you decide what to do or how to challenge any motions in your trial.