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Lawyer Shoots Self in Foot with Shotgun Approach to Litigation

April 5, 2017

On April 4, 2017, in US ex rel. Hayes v. Allstate Insurance Co., the Second Circuit joined the D.C. Circuit in holding that the “first-to-file” rule is not jurisdictional; rather it goes to whether the plaintiff has stated a claim on which relief may be granted.  In an accompanying non-precedential Summary Order, the court also upheld dismissal with prejudice as to the relator, an attorney, for violating Rule 11 by alleging that more than sixty companies – largely insurance companies – were systematically non-compliant with certain statutory obligations to reimburse Medicare even though he had no personal knowledge that all named companies had participated.  In affirming the lower court, the Second Circuit concluded that denial of leave to amend to add 38 new defendants was not an abuse of discretion.

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