first and second counts mentioned, preserving the language in the third to eighth counts as it affects plaintiffs other than French, Sr. and French, Jr., and as it is incorporated therein by reference.
The defendants similarly moved to strike that portion of the paragraph as incorporated by reference in the third through eighth counts in favor of the other plaintiffs which reads 'the plaintiffs, Samuel T. French and Samuel T. French, Jr., in their profession, they being practicing lawyers in the State of New Jersey, and to bring them into infamy and disgrace with and among their clients, the judges of the courts, their fellow practitioners, their neighbors and other citizens of the State of New Jersey'.
This language obviously relates to the claims of French, Sr. and French, Jr., and it is immaterial and irrelevant in so far as the claims of the other plaintiffs in counts three to eight are concerned and the defendants' motion to strike the language as incorporated by reference in counts three to eight will therefore be granted.
In paragraph 4(c) of the motion the defendants move to strike 'With reference to the Second through Eighth Counts, the following paragraphs or parts of paragraphs of The First Count incorporated by reference: Paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7(b) and 7(f) inclusive, Paragraph 9, the parts of Paragraphs 11, 12, 17 and 18 which read 'in pursuance of said scheme and conspiracy set forth in paragraph 6 of this Count', and, except as to the Second Count, that part of Paragraph 18 which reads 'and the charges filed with the Ethics Committee of the Camden County Bar Association' because they are irrelevant and immaterial.'
The allegations in paragraphs 4 and 5 of Count 1, with reference to the association of French, Sr. with the practice of law is stricken in so far as the second through the eighth counts are concerned since these allegations are immaterial to the causes of action of the plaintiffs other than French, Sr., and to this extent the motion of the defendants to strike will be granted.
The motion to strike paragraph 6 of Count 1 will be denied except in so far as it has been concluded herein to strike any portion of it. In the main this paragraph sets up the alleged activities of the defendants as they are charged to have affected the plaintiffs to their injury.
Similarly the motion to strike paragraphs 7(b) through 7(f) and parts of paragraphs 11, 12 and 17 of Count 1 except as it has been concluded heretofore to strike portions thereof, will be denied.
With regard to the motion to strike parts of paragraph 18 of Count 1 the motion is also denied except as it is directed to that portion relating to the charges filed with the Ethics Committee. That portion will be stricken except as it relates to French, Sr. and French, Jr.
In paragraph 4(d) of their motion the defendants seek to strike 'With reference to the Ninth and Eleventh Counts, that part of Paragraph 2 of the Ninth Count which reads 'and to injure the other plaintiffs herein and the other persons named in said indictment in their said business, and to bring them into infamy and disgrace with their neighbors and other citizens of the State of New Jersey and elsewhere, as well as their employers, and to destroy them as witnesses in the then pending actions of law hereinafter mentioned', and, with reference to the Thirteenth through Eighteenth Counts, that part of Paragraph 2 of the Ninth Count which reads 'the plaintiff Samuel T. French and Samuel T. French, Jr., in their profession, they being practicing lawyers in the State of New Jersey, and to bring them into infamy and disgrace with and among their clients, neighbors and other citizens of the State of New Jersey' because they are irrelevant and immaterial.'
This motion to strike is similar to that in paragraph 4(b) of defendants' motion with reference to paragraph 7(g) of Count 1 as incorporated by reference in the second through eighth counts and it is granted for reasons similar to those expressed in the conclusion on paragraph 4(b) of their motion.
In paragraph 4(e) of the motion the defendants seek to strike as to the thirteenth through eighteenth counts that portion of paragraph 7 of the Ninth Count which reads "and the plaintiffs, Samuel T. French and Samuel T. French, Jr., have been so damaged in their profession,- the said Samuel T. French as a practicing attorney and counsellor at law of the State of New Jersey and the said Samuel T. French, Jr., as a practicing attorney of the State of New Jersey,- that they have lost and been deprived of much of the law practice built up by them during the course of their practice of their profession, and they have been damaged in their good reputation as citizens and good practicing lawyers amongst their clients, judges of the court, fellow practitioners and neighbors and citizens generally, and suffered the loss of profits in their profession, to their great damage,' because it is irrelevant and immaterial.'
The motion is similar to that made in paragraphs 4(b) and 4(d) of defendants' motion and will also be granted.
Defendants also seek to strike paragraph 3 of the thirteenth through eighteenth counts which incorporates by reference the whole of paragraph 18 of the first count relating to damages with the exception of the reference therein as to special damages to French, Sr. and French, Jr. Each of these counts incorporates by reference paragraph 7 of the ninth count which relates to damages and adopts practically verbatim the allegations of paragraph eighteen. Therefore each count contains two conclusions relating to damages almost identical in form. Paragraph 3 of Counts 3 to 18 is redundant in that is incorporates paragraph 18 of the first count and therefore the motion to strike it from the thirteenth through eighteenth counts will be granted.
The defendants have further insisted that the objectionable allegations set forth in paragraph 4 of their motion should be granted because of the danger of submitting highly prejudicial matter to the jury. They reasoned that they contain broad characterizations by the pleaders obviously intended to impress upon the jury the magnitude and wickedness of the conspiracy charged against the defendants and to incline it to be unfavorable to the defendants' cause. They assert that although the complaint itself may not be submitted to the jury, its contents may be divulged on opening statement or otherwise. In view of the fact that pre-trial conferences are mandatory with this court, the issues accordingly will be subject to narrowing therein. The court also has adequate control over the opening statements by counsel and may admonish the jury against becoming influenced by elements other than factual proofs and the legitimate inferences that may be drawn therefrom.
In paragraph 5 of their motion the defendants have sought a bill of particulars. Their motion, when originally filed, was controlled by the rules in effect prior to the 1948 amendments. They argued accordingly that the motion should be decided in accordance with the rule as it existed prior to the effective date of the amendments. However, this is an immaterial issue since the amendments abolishing bills of particulars merely restated the general rule previously existent as followed by the majority of federal courts that the defendants are entitled only to such information as will permit an answer to the complaint since the function of the bill of particulars was not to serve in lieu of the discovery procedures for which the Federal Rules adequately provided. See 10 Federal Rules Service, Amendments, p. xcix, wherein amended Rule 12(e) is discussed.
No useful purpose is served in setting forth the approximately 25 inquiries propounded by the defendants for further particularization. Each has been scrutinized and in no instance is it found that the information sought is essential to permit the defendants to answer the complaint. The complaint herein states sufficient facts and will permit a responsive pleading by the defendants. Whatever else they desire in the way of information may be readily secured through the procedures outlined in Rules 26 to 35, inclusive, of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A. This motion is accordingly denied.
Paragraph 6 of the motion seeks to set time limits upon delivery by the plaintiffs of particulars sought through paragraph 5 of the motion and it falls with the decision not to grant the motion for particulars.
In paragraph 7 of the motion, the defendants seek to extend the time in which they may answer. The defendants shall have thirty days in which to answer, the time to run from service upon each of their attorneys of a copy of the order which shall be presented by plaintiffs based upon the conclusions contained in this opinion.