If you have been named as a defendant in a lawsuit, there are often substantial advantages to defending the case in federal court rather than state court. A number of procedural advantages in federal court exist, although litigating in federal court is sometimes slower and is often more expensive than in state court.

If you have been sued in state court, it may be possible to remove the case so that it can be heard in federal court. Removal can occur if a federal question is involved in a lawsuit, or (as is more common) if all of the plaintiffs and all of the defendants are citizens of separate states and the suit is asking for $75,000.00 or more. The removal is accomplished through the filing of a simple document known as a “Notice of Removal.” Be advised that the time limits for responding to the substance of a complaint after removal are very short – seven days.

Michael L. Kitchen