Lone Pine Orders Case

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A Lone Pine order is basically a controlled burn, or it accomplishes the same objective at least. In theory, it is a “fire” used to prevent the growth or blaze of meritless litigation. Don’t want a nasty, complex lawsuit to grow or blaze out of control? Hit it with a Lone Pine order early on in hopes of killing that volatile vegetation. Is it fair? It depends on which side of the courtroom you’re sitting on. Because it acts essentially as an early motion for summary judgment, generally speaking, plaintiff’s attorneys hate them, defense lawyers love them. Does it work? A recent opinion from the Colorado Supreme Court suggests a similar response is required. It depends on which courtroom you’re sitting in - federal or state (and if state, which one).…show more content…
It’s basically a case management order from the court that requires plaintiffs to produce a certain measure of evidence to support their claims at a very early stage in the litigation. Typically, the orders require plaintiffs to produce evidence of (1) exposure; (2) damage (a disease or property damage); and (3) causation. Lone Pine orders are most often used in complex litigation to identify meritless claims and streamline the litigation. They are typically issued under Rule 16 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows courts to adopt special procedures for managing potentially difficult or protracted actions. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(c)(2). This sounds kind of like an ambiguous instruction to The Fixer in the mafia: “We need you to handle this Big Nicky.” As a defense attorney, if you want to put some heat to a complex case, you ask the judge for a Lone Pine order. If plaintiff’s counsel cannot put forth sufficient evidence to support the claims, the case is dismissed. The burn is initiated, the dry, delicate tinder is extinguished and there will be no raging wildfire

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