Those sneaky rules of civil procedure can trip you up on conditions precedent. These are preconditions to filing suit, and if you don’t handle them right — as either plaintiff or defendant — you can sacrifice your claim or defense. If one exists and the plaintiff doesn’t address it, then the case can be dismissed. But if the plaintiff addresses it and the defendant doesn’t deny the allegation in just the right way, the failure of a condition precedent no longer works as a defense. This is one you definitely want to get right.