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Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly quotes Sarah Kelly in “1st Circuit expands use of supplemental pleading rule”

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Sarah P. Kelly, a partner in the Litigation Department and a member of the Business Litigation practice group, was quoted by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in “1st Circuit expands use of supplemental pleadings rule” on January 4. At issue in the case, United States ex rel. Gadbois v. PharMerica Corp., is whether Rule 15(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows parties to file supplemental pleadings to cure subject matter jurisdiction defects. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the whistleblower in the False Claims Act case was not precluded from supplementing his pleadings after he appealed from an order dismissing his qui tam complaint on jurisdictional grounds.

Sarah notes that all the case law suggests that Rule 15(d) should be a flexible tool and that the ruling was not surprising. She points out that in the wake of the decision courts should look at all the facts and circumstances and make the best decision without being too hung up on procedure. Sarah also noted that the plaintiff-friendly ruling reaches beyond the False Claims Act arena. “For any case where the case is in court because of a federal question, this opinion could matter,” she said.

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