R+W Legal Consultants

Research + Writing Tools for Today's Litigators

  • When drafting an answer to a civil complaint, you should assert all relevant affirmative defenses. If you don’t, the defense is usually waived in federal court and many state courts. Of course, waiving a relevant defense may subject you to an ethical complaint or a malpractice claim, or both.

    One good method to determine which affirmative defenses to raise is to categorize the available defenses. I have listed nine categories below, as well as common affirmative defenses for each category.

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