This week we discuss negative pregnants (sometimes referred to as pregnant denials). A negative pregnant is a denial that seems to only deny part of an allegation—while implicitly admitting another part, e.g.,
- I did not beat my wife last night. (Implicitly admits that I beat her on other occasions.)
- Plaintiff will not move for default against your client on April 3, 2013. (Implies that the plaintiff will move for a default on any other day, just not on April 3.)
As you can see from these examples, negative pregnants are ambiguous at best, and at worst can result in a harmful admission. So carefully look over your denials and make sure that you’re not implicitly admitting something that you don’t intend to admit.
That is all for now …