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What do you need to establish federal jurisdiction?
- -Subject matter jurisdiction(diversity/federal question)
- -Personal jurisdiction over each D (in personam or quasi in rem)
- -D served adequately
- -D received adequate notice and opportunity to be heard
What do you need for federal subject matter jurisdiction?
Diversity or federal question
What are the purposes of the complaint?
- -Notice to defendant
- -Notice to the court
- -Facilitate decision on the merits
What happens if the defendant receives a complaint and they really have no idea what’s going on?
- -FRCP Rule 12(e)
- -He can file a motion for a more definite statement
Motion for a more definite statement
Pleading for a claim for relief (claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, etc.) shall contain a short statement on grounds for court's jurisdiction and short statement showing pleader is entitled to relief and demand for judgment for the relief the pleader seeks
- Set up of pleadings
- (a) caption - names of parties
- (b) paragraphs - separate statements
Are there any drawbacks to giving too much detail in the complaint?
- -If some your details are wrong or harmful, you might get your case dismissed
- -You may give away some of your strategies or weaknesses to your opponent
When is it acceptable to put contradictory allegations in a complaint?
- -If the Plaintiff is genuinely unsure of what happened
- -It has to be reasonable
- -Court may sanction lawyers or parties responsible for violation – 11(c)
- -allegations are warranted by existing law or legitimate argument for extension of the law - 11(b)(2)
- -allegations must have evidentiary support - 11(b)(3)
- -Court has discretion – it may impose sanctions
- -Alleged violator has 21 days to withdraw or correct the challenged pleading
- -Court may impose sanctions on its own initiative with show cause opportunity - 11(c)(1)(b)
What happens if alleged violator of Rule 11 withdraws or corrects the challenged pleading?
The motion goes no where and the court never even sees it
· sanctions are not appropriate if party has “a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.”
Motion to dismiss
When must a Rule 12(b)(6) motion be filed?
Must be filed before the answer
What must a Rule 12(b)(6) motion state?
State that complaint fails to allege a claim upon which relief can be granted
How are facts in complaint dealt with in a 12(b)(6) motion?
All material facts well pleaded in complaint must be taken as true
How is a 12(b)(6) case usually dismissed?
Usually a motion to dismiss is given with prejudice, which means that it’s garbage and you can’t bring it again. Every once in a while a judge will dismiss a case without prejudice, which means you can retool it and bring it again
When must a 12(b)(6) motion be denied?
If there is a contested issue of material fact.
Provides that lack of jurisdiction over the person, improper venue, insufficiency of process, or insufficiency of service of process will be waived forever if omitted from a pre-answer motion, or if no motion is made, from the answer
Provides that failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, failure to join an indispensable party, and failure to state a legal defense to a claim can be made in any pleading or by motion for judgment on the pleadings, or at trial on the merits
Provides that lack of jurisdiction of the subject matter may be made at any time
In Buffalo Creek, what strategic motions did Pittson file?
- -12(b)(6) motion to dismiss because Pittson wasn’t the right party to sue
- -12(e) motion for a more definite statement
Which rule deals with default?
Entry of default
- Judgment by default -
- Judgment usually entered by the court after a hearing. In rare circumstances, if damages easily ascertainable, clerk may enter judgment
Rule 55(c) factors
- -Whether plaintiff will be prejudiced
- -Whether defendant has a meritorious defense
- -Whether defendant’s culpable conduct led to the default
Relief from judgment or order - mistakes, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, fraud
How long after judgment can Rule 60(b) be used?
Not more than 1 year
Which rule deals with answer?
What ways may you answer a complaint?
- -Admit allegation
- -Deny allegation
- -Defendant lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation (usually deemed a denial)
- -Can admit part of an allegation and deny another part
- -General denial of everything (rarely done)
When can Rule 11 sanctions apply to an answer?
If you deny an allegation that you should have admitted - Rule 11(b)(4)
What rule deals with affirmative defenses?
What is a compulsory counterclaim?
The counterclaim arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party’s claim
When must defendant raise counterclaim?
The defendant must assert the claim in response to the plaintiff’s lawsuit or the claim is waived
What is a permissive counterclaim?
- -Defendant has permission to assert these in conjunction with the plaintiff’s lawsuit
- -Counterclaim does not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence but is between the same parties
Federal Jurisdiction over compulsory vs. permissive counterclaims
- -If the counterclaim is compulsory, the federal court retains jurisdiction over it
- -If the counterclaim is permissive, the federal court has no jurisdiction. The counterclaim will be dismissed to be filed in federal court
“Arising out of” Test for compulsory counterclaims
Will the same evidence substantially dispose of the issues raised by both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s claims?
Liberal test for compulsory counterclaims
Just looks at whether the counterclaim arises out of a logical sequence of events from the original claim
Which rule deals with voluntary dismissal?
When can plaintiff voluntarily dismiss case without court permission?
- -Plaintiff can dismiss case without court permission before defendant serves an answer or motion for summary judgment
- -Without court permission, parties can submit stipulation of dismissal signed by all
Is a first time voluntary dismissal with or without prejudice?
Without prejudice. Second time is with prejudice.
Temporary restraining order
What rule deals with amendments?
What are the reasons for a statute of limitations?
- -Loss of evidence
- -Loss of memory
- -Witnesses gone
- -Assure defendant of repose after a certain amount of time
When and how many times can a complaint be amended?
- Once before the answer is served
- -Otherwise need leave of the court
- -Leave should be liberally granted
When and how many times can an answer be amended?
- Once within 20 days of service
- -Otherwise need leave of the court
- -Leave should be liberally granted
When should leave to amend be denied by the court?
- -Amendment will result in undue prejudice to other side
- -Amendment unduly delayed
What are the guidelines for relation back?
- -New party must receive notice of the action within 120 days after the suit is filed
- -New party will not be prejudiced by the delay in preparing its case
- -Defendant knew or should have known that but for a mistake, the action would have been brought against it
Adding new claim after statute of limitations expires
When can you add a claim after the statute of limitations expires?
The claim arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth in the original complaint
Same Evidence Test
- -Used for compulsory counterclaims under Rule 13
- -Not applicable to Rule 15 amendments
- --if the theory of liability is different, the evidence is probably also different
Adding a new claim if statute of limitations has not expired
- -Addresses joinder of CLAIMS
- -One party can join in the same lawsuit as many claims as it has against another party even if they are unrelated
-Court may sever unrelated claims and conduct separate trials whenever it has good reason to do so
Permissive joinder of parties
Plaintiffs may join together in a lawsuit if:
- -Right to relief arises out of same transactions or occurrences; AND
- -There is a question of law or fact common to all plaintiffs
Plaintiff may sue multiple defendants if:
- -Claims arise out of same transactions or occurrences; AND
- -a question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action
- -Rule 20(b) – separate trials
Compulsory joinder of parties
- -Sometimes joinder of parties is necessary if feasible
- -At other times joinder is indispensable
Why might a party resist joinder?
- -Doesn’t want to share damages with other plaintiffs
- -Can’t locate other plaintiffs or defendants easily
- -Running against statute of limitations
Diversity jurisdiction in federal court
- -Plaintiffs and defendants must be from different states
- -Amount in controversy must exceed $75,000
Under Rule 19(a), how do you determine who are necessary parties in compulsory joinder?
- -Without joinder, can complete relief be accorded to those already in the lawsuit?
- -In the absence of the non-party, will a judgment impair the rights of the non-party?
- -Will those who are already parties be at risk of incurring inconsistent obligations in separate lawsuits?
When might a court be incapable of joining a necessary party?
- -A federal court might lose jurisdiction because joinder will destroy diversity
- -If they are necessary, but not indispensable – you leave it alone and don’t join them
Under Rule 19(b), how do you determine who are indispensible parties in compulsory joinder?
- -To what extent will a judgment rendered in the absence of a person be prejudicial to the non-party or to others in the case?
- -Can the court, by crafting protective provisions in the judgment or shaping the relief in a particular way, diminish or eliminate the prejudice?
- -Will the judgment rendered in the person’s absence be adequate?
- -If the court dismisses the action because the necessary party cannot feasibly be joined, will the plaintiff be able to obtain relief subsequently?
What rule deals with impleader?
Example of Impleader (Third party practice)
- -Plaintiff sues defendant
- -Defendant forces in new party
- -Defendant becomes third party plaintiff
- -New party is third party defendant
- -3rd party defendant is liable to third party plaintiff for all or part of the original plaintiff’s claim
- -The same event has to give rise to the claim of the plaintiff against the defendant and the claim of the defendant against the third party or parties
- -Generally asserted by defendants against plaintiffs
- -Some are compulsory – same evidence rule
- -Some are permissive
- -Asserted by one party against a co-party. Plaintiff against plaintiff or defendant against defendant
- -Rule 13(g) – cross-claim must arise out of same transaction or occurrence as original claim or counterclaim or must relate to property at issue in original claim
If a party asserts a counterclaim or cross-claim, it can add parties as long as rules 19 and 20 are not violated
Intervention as of right
- -By statutory mandate, e.g. Title VII (civil rights)
- -Person claims an interest relating to property or transaction that is the subject of the lawsuit
- --Disposition in person’s absence will impair her ability to protect the right
- --Interest is not adequately represented by existing parties
- -If the court finds that all of these terms are met, they have to let the person intervene
- -Some statutes give you permission to intervene if the court says okay
- -Person’s claim and main action have a question of law or fact in common
- --If the claim is going to cause undue delay or prejudice to the parties already involved, the court is not going to allow it
- Class actions
- -First, all four prerequisites of 23(a) are met
- -Then, must fulfill one of the requirements of 23(b)
4 Prerequisites of class actions
- -Numerosity – enough people that joinder is impractical
- -Common question of law or fact
- -Typicality (P's claims typical of all claims)
- -Adequate representation
When is class certification usually inappropriate?
Mass accidents and torts
- Settlement of class actions
- -Court approval required
- -Notice to all class members required, as directed by the court
Initial disclosures and what must be disclosed in them
Request for production of documents
How many interrogatories is each party limited to under the current federal rules?
25 including subparts
What is the only discovery tool for which advance court approval is routinely necessary?
Pursuant to Rule 35, when is it appropriate to conduct a physical or mental examination of someone?
-When a person’s mental or physical condition is in controversy
Which 2 discovery mechanisms can be used to obtain information from a third party not a party to the suit?
depositions and document requests
What kind of motion can you file if your opposing party refuses to cooperate in responding to your discovery requests?
- -talk to opposing party and threaten to file a motion to compel
- -file motion to compel
Do you have to do anything if you obtain additional relevant information after you have responded to a discovery request?
You have to supplement your disclosures – Rule 26(e)
- Material prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by a party or its representatives
- -Rule 26(b)(3))
Work product rule rationale:
- -Parties must prepare thoroughly for cases
- -Parties should not skew their own notes for fear of disclosure
- -Opposing party has other means of discovery: depositions, interrogatories, document production
Work Product Exception
- Work product is disclosable if:
- -Party seeking it has “substantial need” AND
- -Party seeking it cannot obtain the information by other means without undue hardship
- -Mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, and legal theories of attorney or party’s representatives are never disclosed
Attorney-client privilege is absolute unless:
- -Client waives it
- -Statements made in public place where can be overheard
- -Client puts the communication at issue in case
- --i.e. attorney malpractice
Rationale for Attorney-Client Privilege
- -Attorney should know everything about client
- -Client should trust attorney
- -Client should have every incentive to be honest with lawyer
Non-testifying experts: Rule 26(b)(4)(B)
Opinions disclosable only in exceptional circumstances
- Discovery sanctions
- -Reimburse opponent for expenses relating to failure to cooperate
- -Court can strike portions of pleadings, exclude evidence, decide issues against disobedient party
- -Dismiss complaint or declare default judgment
Summary judgment granted if:
- -the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits... show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact...”
- -can have a motion for partial summary judgment on just one of the claims
Distinction between motion to dismiss and summary judgment
- -Rule 12(b)(6) – look only at pleadings
- -Rule 56 – matters outside the pleadings are presented to the court, e.g. affidavits or deposition testimony
Court can order continuance of motion for summary judgment to allow further discovery
Burdens of Persuasion in Summary Judgment
- -Burden of persuasion – plaintiff bears burden of persuading the trier of fact that her allegations are true
- -Preponderance of evidence standard
- -Movant must demonstrate that there is no genuine issue of material fact
Burden of Production – Summary Judgment motions
Party responding to a motion for summary judgment must only produce enough evidence to convince the judge that the case should go forward, that there exists a genuine issue of material fact
Final Pretrial conference goals:
- -Simplify issues
- -Clarify issues
- -Eliminate trial inefficiencies
- --problem if judge orders mediation
- ---it’s expensive
- ---it’s not binding
- -Joint pretrial statement must be prepared and agreed upon by both parties
Reasons not to settle:
- -Set important precedent
- -Defendant doesn’t want to settle as a matter of principle
- --Doesn’t want implied admission of fault
- -Discourage other plaintiffs from suing
- -Attorney will lose opportunity for publicity
- -Attorney loses opportunity to work on meaningful case
What does Rule 48 tell us about juries in civil cases?
- -Normally between 6 and 12 jurors
- --Unless parties otherwise agree to accept a verdict from less than 6 jurors
- -Verdict must be unanimous
- --Unless parties otherwise agree to accept a non-unanimous verdict
Right to trial by jury
Jury Trial Availability
- -Available only for “legal issues” tried in the courts of common law
- -Generally, in cases involving only injunctive relief, a bench trial is conducted by the judge without a jury
Potential disadvantages of jury:
- -Juror incompetence
- -Juror prejudice
Advantages of juries:
- -Common sense
- -Jurors nullify the injustice of the law
- -Jurors are most often serious and conscientious
- -Educate general citizenry
What rule deals with voir dire?
- Rule 47
- -Conducted by attorneys or judge, at judge’s discretion
What are the two types of challenges in voir dire?
- -"For cause" challenges
- -Peremptory challenges
How many peremptory challenges does each side usually get?
What is it unlawful to peremptorily strike a juror for?
- Race or gender
- -Religion is okay, since it does affect your beliefs about certain things
Judgment as a matter of law
- -used to be called motion for directed verdict
- -A party can make this motion after the opposing party has been fully heard on the issue
- -Make motion before submission of the case to the jury
Judgment as a matter of law
Standard under Rule 50(a):
- -Judge must find that “there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for the [opposing] party.”
- -Evidence too weak to support a rational verdict for opposing party.
Renewing motion for judgment after trial
Renewing motion for judgment after trial
- -Up to 10 days after the entry of judgment
- -Used to be called JNOV – judgment notwithstanding the verdict
- -Now condensed into judgment as a matter of law
- -Only if motion made during the trial (have to have made a motion for a judgment as a matter of law)
- -Same standard as judgment as a matter of law
Options for losing party:
- -Motion for judgment as a matter of law (JNOV)
- -Motion for a new trial
Rule 59: New trial appropriate if:
- -Serious error occurred during trial
- -Verdict was against the clear weight of the evidence
- -Motion made no later than 10 days after entry of judgment
- -Motion made by any party or by the judge sua sponte
Motions for a judgment as a matter of law often filed together with motion for new trial
Rule 60(b) – relief from judgment
- -Mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect
- -Newly discovered evidence
- -Several other reasons
Mechanisms to take case away from the jury:
- -Motion to dismiss
- -Summary judgment
- -Motion for judgment as a matter of law before case goes to jury
- -Motion for judgment as a matter of law after entry of judgment
- -Motions for new trial
- Judge will grant motion for new trial unless plaintiff accepts specified reduction in verdict
- -Judge can’t just cut it down – has to give plaintiff an option
- -Doctrine based in common law
- -Judge must find the award is “so excessive and exorbitant as to show passion and prejudice on the part of the jury.”
Judge will grant new trial unless defendant accepts specified increase in verdict
Is additur permissible in federal courts?
- According to Supreme Court:
- -Additur is not permissible in federal courts
- -Violates Seventh Amendment
- -State courts are not bound by the 7th Amendment and use additur
- -Some federal courts employ additur and have gotten away with it
- -Special verdict – jury gets particular questions and must make written finding on each issue
- -General verdict – normal liable/not liable verdict
- -General verdict and interrogatories – jury issues a verdict and then answers specific questions about its finding of fact
General verdict and interrogatories - inconsistencies
- -The two can be inconsistent
- -Judge can enter judgment that is consistent with answers to interrogatories but not general verdict (only if answers are consistent with each other)
- -Judge can point out inconsistencies and send jury for further deliberations
- -Judge can order a new trial
In personam jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over the person, i.e. the defendant
In rem jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over property or a thing
Quasi in rem jurisdiction
Court attaches the defendant’s property in order to apply it to satisfy the claim
Jurisdiction over nonresidents
- -According to Neff court, nonresident defendant must be personally served with process within the state or must voluntarily appear before the court (consent to the jurisdiction)
- -State court could also seize defendant’s property located in the state at the outset of the action. If property was seized, service by publication was acceptable – no personal service necessary
Jurisdiction over status, e.g. marital status
theory is that marriage is somehow a res (in rem) so it is partially in that state
Minimum contacts standard
Defendant has to have sufficient contacts with the state so that due process isn’t violated
What determines sufficient minimum contacts?
- -Volume of contacts – amount of activity
- -Purposeful availment
- -Balance of convenience
- -Location of witnesses and evidence
- -Location of injury
- -Continuity of contacts
- -State interest in protecting citizens and business community and deterring misconduct
What 2 requirements do you need for jurisdiction?
- -Does subjecting the nonresident defendant to jurisdiction violate her 14th Amendment right to Due Process? (minimum contacts)
- -Does subjecting the nonresident defendant to jurisdiction violate the state’s own jurisdictional statute?
To what extent can a federal district court exercise personal jurisdiction?
A federal district court may exercise jurisdiction only to the extent a state court of the state in which it sits could exercise jurisdiction
Specific v. General Jurisdiction
- -Specific jurisdiction: Defendant’s forum contacts are sporadic, but the cause of action arises out of these contacts.
- -General jurisdiction: cause of action does not arise from defendant’s forum-related activities but defendant has minimum contacts and state’s jurisdiction is reasonable. Harder standard to meet
Corporations are residents of:
State where they are incorporated and state where their principal place of business is
Three types of jurisdiction:
- -In personam
- -In rem
- -Quasi in rem
U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shaffer:
- -Jurisdiction based solely on seizure of property in the state violates due process
- -Distinction among in personam, in rem, and quasi in rem jurisdiction is artificial
- -International Shoe’s minimum contacts test is applied to all three types of jurisdiction
What’s the difference between personal and in personam jurisdiction?
- -in personam, in rem, and quasi in rem are the three types of personal jurisdiction
- -personal jurisdiction just means that you get jurisdiction over the defendant and then you have to decide how
- -Requires that the court have personal jurisdiction over the defendant
- -Requires that the defendant have notice of the lawsuit
- -Distinctions between in personam and in rem jurisdiction are “ancient” and outdated
- -Whether the case is characterized as in rem or in personam, notice must always be reasonably calculated to inform all interested parties of the existence of the action
- -Balancing test
- -Reasonable efforts have to be made to provide actual notice to those affected
- -Service can be affected by any person 18 or older who is not a party
- -Service by delivery to individual personally or by leaving documents at individual’s home with a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there
- -Service to defendant’s agent
- -Service pursuant to state law
- --If a state has a law dealing with service and you’re in that state, you can follow that law, even if you’re in federal court
- -Service by mail
- -Defendant who waives service in person gets 60 days to answer rather than 20
- -Defendant who refuses waiver is assessed the costs of service
28 USC Section 1391
- -Determines in what judicial district the suit can be brought
- -a) diversity cases; (b) federal cases; (c) defines where corporation is resident
In both diversity and federal question cases venue is proper in judicial district:
- 1) where any defendant resides if all reside in same state
- 2) where substantial part of events giving rise to action occurred or property is located
- 3) Fallback option: district where defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction (minimum contacts) can be “found.”
In cases involving a corporation, venue is proper when:
- -Corporations “reside” in any judicial district in which there is personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced
- -See analysis for states with multiple districts – deemed to reside in the district where the corporation has the most significant contacts (you pretend each district is a state and do the minimum contacts analysis for each district)
28 USC Section 1404
- -Venue is appropriate but inconvenient
- -Court may transfer the case to a more convenient district or division
Forum non conveniens
- -Personal jurisdiction exists and venue is proper but forum is extremely inconvenient for defendant AND
- -If appropriate forum is another country, court can dismiss
- --Basically, transfer under 1406 can’t be done
- -State court can dismiss a case more conveniently litigated in another state
Defendant can waive objection to personal jurisdiction and venue
An objection to subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived
Can a plaintiff add together their multiple claims to meet $75,000 requirement?
Is a defense based on federal law sufficient to establish federal question jurisdiction?
No, claim must be based on federal law
What are the 2 types of supplemental jurisdiction?
- -Plaintiff asserts a federal question claim against a non-diverse party in federal court and adds on a related state law claim that is part of the same case or controversy
- -E.g. plaintiff sues employer under Title VII for sexual harassment and adds on assault claim
- -Court has jurisdiction
- -Tells us how the plaintiff can add claims
- -Defendants can assert claims against other parties even if the federal court would not have jurisdiction over claims if asserted separately, so long as the claims are part of the same case or controversy
- -Defendants (including 3rd party defendants) can assert cross-claims, compulsory counterclaims, and third party claims
Gibbs standard for pendant jurisdiction
- -Is there a substantial federal question in the case?
- -State and federal law claims must arise from a common nucleus of operative facts
- -Needless decisions of state law should be avoided
- -Jury confusion
Diversity cases and supplemental jurisdiction
- -Supplemental jurisdiction not permitted over state law claims by plaintiffs or interveners against any party if bringing the claim would destroy diversity
- -Section 1367(b)
- -Prohibition does not apply to defendants. Defendants may assert claims against non-diverse parties
What is supplemental jurisdiction?
Adding on of a state claim
Right of Removal
· Defendant has a right to remove case from state court to federal court if it could have been brought in federal court originally
Hurt v. Dow Decision
- -Federal preemption issue does not create basis for federal court jurisdiction
- -Defendant may not remove case if any defendant is a citizen of the state in which the action was filed. Section 1441(b)
- -If there is no federal statute on point and the state rule is substantive in nature, the state rule should be applied
- -Substantive: defines rights and obligations
Outcome determinative test from Guaranty Trust v. York (Erie Doctrine)
- o If applying the state v. the federal rule is going to cause you having a different outcome in state v. federal court, you apply the state rule
- -Problem is everything can be outcome determinative
Conflict of Laws (Erie Doctrine)
-When a choice of law question arises in a diversity case, a federal court determines which state’s law governs by applying the choice of law rules of the forum state
Byrd balancing test (Erie Doctrine)
Federal court must balance competing federal and state interests
Twin aims of Erie Doctrine:
discouragement of forum shopping and avoidance of inequitable administration of laws
Hanna Test (Erie Doctrine)
- -Shifts outcome determinative test - look at outcome at beginning rather than end
- --Only changes the way that process would be served - plaintiff might still have won on her tort claim state court
- -Will plaintiff choose to file in federal or state court because of the particular rule? If so, apply state rule.
Overall Erie Scheme:
- -Is there a federal constitutional, statutory, or treaty provision on point or FRCP? Does it directly conflict with the state rule? If so, federal law applies.
- -If not, and the state rule is “merely a form and mode of enforcing a state substantive right,” apply Hanna outcome determinative test. Would failure to apply state rule promote forum shopping and inequitable application of law? If so, apply state rule unless there is some strong countervailing federal interest (e.g. right to jury)
Way to approach Erie types of questions on exam
- -Is the issue substantive
- --If so, apply state law
- -Is there a federal provision
- --If in direct conflict with state law, apply federal
- -Would application of one law over another promote forum shopping or inequity?
- --If so, apply state law
- -Is there a strong countervailing federal interest?
- --If not, apply state
Claim preclusion - prohibits relitigation of a claim that has already been litigated by the parties and gone to judgment
Issue preclusion - forecloses the relitigation of issues that were litigated and decided in a previous lawsuit
- Dismissal of case constitutes a judgment on the merits unless:
- -Judge says it’s not a judgment on the merits
- -Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction
- -Dismissed for improper venue
- -Dismissed for failure to join party under Rule 19
What about res judicata rules of a state?
- -Federal court must accept res judicata rules of deciding state
- -Federal court must determine whether state court would want its dismissal to have preclusive effect on litigation in federal court
Privity (collateral estoppel)
A judgment binds only the parties involved and those in privity with them
Circumstances of Privity
- -A nonparty who has succeeded to a party’s interest in property is bound by any prior judgments against that party
- -A nonparty who controlled the original suit will be bound by the resulting judgment (i.e. a parent company controls a suit for the subsidiary)
- -Nonparty’s interests were adequately represented by a party in original suit
Mutuality of estoppel
- -Now defunct
- -In the past, no person could benefit from a prior judgment when he stood to lose nothing by it, when he would not have been bound by it
Defensive use of collateral estoppel
- -Defendant uses collateral estoppel to establish defense
- -A sues b for medical malpractice related to surgery. Jury finds that A suffered no harm from surgery. A then sues C who assisted in same surgery. C seeks to bar A from relitigating the issue of whether the surgery caused him harm
Offensive use of collateral estoppel
- -Use of collateral estoppel for purpose of establishing a claim for relief
- -A sues B for accident, and jury finds B was negligent. C (passenger in A’s car) files suit against B based on same accident and seeks to preclude B from relitigating the negligence issue.
Four factors needed for offensive collateral estoppel:
- -Could the nonparty have joined the prior litigation?
- -Was the subsequent litigation foreseeable at time of first suit?
- -Is judgment at issue consistent with prior judgments against the defendant?
- -Are any procedural opportunities available to defendant that were not previously available?
- -Neutral judge or panel of judges conducts a hearing and decides case
- -ward is generally binding
- -Neutral facilitator facilitates negotiation among parties
- -There is no judgment
- -If mediation fails, parties proceed to trial
Advantages of ADR
- -Preserving relationships among parties
- -No publicity
- -Expertise of arbitrator or mediator
Disadvantages of ADR
- -Limited discovery and pleadings
- -Limited opportunity to present evidence
- -Limited appeal rights
- -Selection of arbitrator
- -Lack of diversity among mediators and arbitrators
- -No precedential value of awards
Gillispie v. Goodyear Service Stores
- -Complaint must contain “a plain and concise statement of the facts constituting a cause of action”; cannot contain merely conclusions and not facts
- -Gillispie’s complaint was flawed b/c it was conclusory and jumbled. It referred to 4 individuals, but did not indicate how those individuals related back to Goodyear. It did not disclose: what occurred; when it occurred; where it occurred; who did what
US v. Board of Harbor Commissioners
- -DFs filed motion for more definite statement (FRCP 12(e)). These motions are ordinarily restricted to situations where a pleading suffers from “unintelligibility rather than the want of detail.”
- -If requirements of Rule 8 are met, and the opposing party is fairly notified of the nature of the claim, Rule 12(e) motion is inappropriate.
McCormick v. Kopman
- -Widow of victim of car crash alleged guy who hit him was liable, and alternatively that dram shop owner served her husband too much alcohol was liable.
- -P was allowed to allege contradictory allegations b/c there was no way for her to know what happened.
- -Rule 8(e)(2): Claims may be made in the alternative “regardless of consistency”
Zuk v. Eastern PA Psychiatric
Copyright case, DF settled motion for sanctions, but attorney appealed. Lawyer’s excuse was he was new to copyright law. Court said this was no excuse. Sanctions should be limited to amount that would deter the behavior.
Mitchell v. Archibald & Kendall
A Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal was proper when P was shot just outside D’s premises. The court held there was no responsibility to P as an invitee once he left the premises of D.
Shephard Claims Service v. William Darrah & Associates
DF delayed filing answer, and PLF moved for entry of default. DF moved for setting aside entry of default. Court said the attorney’s conduct was not bad enough to be culpable, that the policy of deciding cases on their merits outweighs the inconvenience to the court and PLF, and the client should not be punished for lawyer’s errors.
David v. Crompton & Knowles
- DFs said they didn’t have enough information to determine whether they manufactured a shredder. DF wants to deny the allegation now that they found out it was manufactured by a company they bought, and they are not liable for negligence in its design. SOL has ran out so PLF could not sue other party.
- Court determined the lack of knowledge was inappropriate—held the ability to determine that from the beginning, so it is held an admission.
Ingraham v. US
After judgment of a lot of money, appeal on grounds of statute that limited recovery in medical liability cases. Court determined the statute was an affirmative defense that was waived when it was not included in the answer.
Wigglesworth v. Teamsters Local Union
- -PLF filed suit saying he was denied right of free speech. DF counterclaimed alleging libel and slander on part of PLF. DF’s claim was state issue, PLF’s claim was federal issue. Issue is whether counterclaim is compulsory or permissive. If compulsory, federal court can retain jurisdiction.
- -Used the same evidence test—if the same evidence would substantially dispose of the issues raised by the opposing claims, then the claims are compulsory, else, they are permissive. Case was found to be permissive.
DC Electronics v. Nartron
- -Antitrust suit, where many procedures were complete, but no answer or motion for summary judgment, PLFs filed for voluntary dismissal.
- -A rule is a rule—they are allowed to file since motion for summary judgment or answer has not been filed yet.
David v. Crompton & Knowles
Crompton wants permission to amend its answer to deny the allegation. Crompton is requesting to amend after the SOL, so the PLF will be prejudiced b/c the PLF could not sue another company. Court will NOT allow amendment.
Swartz v. Gold Dust Casino
P was allowed to amend complaint to add D. Amendment was served 4 days after the SOL, but the new D already knew about the Complaint, so he was NOT prejudiced, and the amendment was allowed.
Kedra v. City of Philadelphia
Suit filed for series of events where PLFs were harassed by police. Issue was improper joinder of parties when sue all police. Court has to determine the nature of prejudice there might be to the DF parties. We are worried about prejudicing DFs who may not have committed worse crimes than others.
Clark v. Associates Commercial
Associates hired people to repossess tractor. Clark resists, and they repossess by force. Associates implead the people who repossessed the tractor b/c they caused the damage.
Klotz v. Superior Electric Products
- -PLF sued claiming bad cooker. DF filed impleader against college student ate sausage at which made her sick.
- -Court dismissed claim of impleader b/c Superior should have made motion to dismiss.
- -P should have joined the parties under Rule 20
Cascade Natural v. El Paso Gas
3 parties can intervene as of right b/c they would be adversely affected by a merger that diminished the competitive environment in CA. This is a broad interpretation—allows for purely economic interest.
Donaldson v. US
Donaldson could not intervene b/c he had an insufficient interest in his employer’s routine business records. Wanted to impede IRS investigation—Narrower Interpretation of “interest”
Trbovich v. United Mine Workers
Intervention was allowed when the Secretary of labor’s interests are different then individual union members’ interests.
New Orleans Public Service v. United Gas Pipe Line
The members of the community want to intervene on negotiations for gas amounts, but court determines that the intervenors have nothing to add so they can’t join. The interventions will prejudice the existing.
Jenkins v. Raymark Industries
- -Seeking a class action for asbestos litigation. Note that class actions are often inappropriate for tort action. Here, the class could be certified under Rule 23(b)(3), the catch-all category
- -After Jenkins it has been much harder to get class certification
Holland v. Steele
The four prerequisites were met, and he was seeking injunctive relief, so the case could be brought under 23(b)(2).
Eisen v. Carlisle & Jacqueline
Regards the notice requirement in Rule 23(c)(2). Lower court said they can take shortcut and not notify all class members directly. Supreme court says NO—Each Member MUST be notified, even though much more costly.
In Re Convergent Technologies Securities Litigation
Parties spent $40,000 on discovery and said there was a breakdown between parties. Court said that they could be excused from answering many of the interrogatories until most of discovery is complete.
Davis v. Ross
Ps wanted personal information about Ross’s income, but they were denied b/c it would only be needed in the event the jury decided that punitive damages were necessary.
Kozlowski v. Sears Roebuck
With a request to produce documents, Sears said it was too difficult to produce the documents. The court determined that they willfully and deliberately withheld the documents b/c they were within their control.
Hickman v. Taylor
- Statements were taken from people involved in a tugboat accident in preparation for litigation. The SC said that the documents should not be disclosed in order to maintain the dignity the lawyers need.
- Rationale: PLF could interview the survivors himself so there is NO SUBSTANTIAL NEED for the interview documents; PLFs attorney can make his own judgment and it goes to the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, and legal theories
Upjohn Co. v. US
Lawyers held an internal investigation, and the questionnaires sent out was held to be Attorney-Client privilege. The interview notes were also not disclosable. The 26(b)(3) exception as inapplicable, The government can still depose the people from the questionnaires if they wish.
In Re Shell Oil Refinery
Shell used a couple internal experts that they did not plan to call at trial. The other side did not have the right to depose these witnesses.
Wanderer v. Johnson
- 5 part test for the court to consider:
- (1) Public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation;
- (2) Court’s need to manage its docket
- (3) Risk of prejudice to the party seeking sanctions
- (4) Public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits; and
- (5) Availability of less drastic sanctions
Cine Forty-Second Street v. Allied Artists
Cine sues Allied b/c of antitrust practice, and does not follow through on Discovery requests, failing to answer on time, as well as accurately, interrogatories. Magistrate said it was willful noncompliance, but the district court said they couldn’t speculate on willfulness. Appellate Court agreed with magistrate and imposed sanctions.
Adickes v. Kress
- -In a civil rights motion where she said that she was not served because she was accompanied by African American students. Motion for summary judgment was denied because you had to prove that there was no policeman in the restaurant—this is almost impossible to prove. SJ is not an effective tool here.
- -Uses the “foreclose the possibility test” which is NOT the standard today—very hard to prove and SJ is almost useless
Celotex v. Catrett
Asbestos case where there was no admissible evidence that the plaintiff came in contact with motioners asbestos. Summary judgment was denied because there was SOME evidence, be it not a lot. The defendant just has to show that the plaintiff failed to produce evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact.
Arnstein v. Porter
Arnstein says Porter stole his compositions by following him around. The only evidence is the compositions, but SJ is denied. SJ would only be appropriate here if the defendant indubitably did not have access to the P’s compositions. P only has to raise the “slightest doubt” that the allegations are true.
Dyer v. MacDougall
Defamation case where SJ was granted because the only witnesses both testified there was no slander. The evidence presented in support of the plaintiff was that the witnesses might change their story. In order to get SJ, the plaintiff had to raise more than speculative theories.
Heileman Brewing v. Joseph Oat
- -The court can go beyond the rule and order the party to come before the judge for settlement purposes and if the party fails to do so, the judge may administer sanctions.
- -Before Rule 16(c) was added.
Galloway v. US
- -Issue is whether it was appropriate to discount testimony in light of a lost period of time. It was correct to grant judgment as a matter of law (DV) when there was no way the jury could conclude he was insane for a period where there was no evidence.
- -Directed Verdict does NOT violate 7th Amendment—original intent (right not absolute)
Guenther v. Armstrong Rubber
No proof that DF’s tire may not have been one to cause damage. Judgment as Matter of Law (DV) was held inappropriate, even with high chance that this was true.
Ahern v. Scholz
New trial denied when jury found breach of contract. On appeal, ruling affirmed b/c judge did not abuse discretion
Dimick v. Schiedt
P thinks damages too small and wants more. Court doesn’t ask P if ok—only D. Court says you cannot increase damages b/c of Original intent—intent of English Common law, and the verdict isn’t fully attributable to jury (violation of 7th Amendment).
Pennoyer v. Neff (1st Case)
- Mitchell sued Neff in OR State Court to recover unpaid legal fees
- Notice published in newspaper (if address known needed to be personally served, or Complaint mailed to DF)
- Neff is in CA
- Mitchell obtained Default Judgment
- Court attached Neff’s OR land, which is sold to Pennoyer and Mitchell gets proceeds
Pennoyer v. Neff (2nd Case)
- Neff brought action of ejectment against Pennoyer nine years later in OR court
- Neff claimed OR court lacked jurisdiction over him in the original suit
- Neff asserted judgment was invalid, as was Pennoyer’s claim of ownership
Pennoyer v. Neff
- State Court has jurisdiction over nonresident if:
- (1) Nonresident DF is personally served while in the state—In Personam
- (2) Controversy involves property located in the state—In Rem
- (3) Court attaches property owned by DF at beginning of suit—Quasi-in-Rem
International Shoe v. Washington
- Int’l Shoe incorporated in DE
- Shoe’s principal place of business is in MO
- Shoe transacts some business in WA
- Given 1 shoe to display, can’t write contracts, got $31,000 in commissions, not given the shoes
- WA assessed unemployment compensation taxes against Shoe
- Does WA state court have jurisdiction over Shoe?
What case established minimum contacts standard? What is the standard?
- International Shoe
- Due Process requires only that in order to subject a DF to a judgment in personam, if he be not present within the territory of the forum, he have certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does no offend “the traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice”
- Applies both to people and corporations
McGee v. International Life Insurance
- Person bought insurance policy from AZ company
- AZ insurance company is bought by TX company
- Franklin, in CA, accepts a substitute policy from TX
- Franklin pays all premiums until he dies
- Franklin’s mother (McGee) sues in CA wanting money from policy
- Insurance company claims CA court does not have jurisdiction
- Holding: CA Court does have jurisdiction
Which case established the balance of convenience test and what is it?
- McGee v. International Life Insurance
- Balance of Convenience Test:
- (1) Contacts: there have been sufficient amount of contacts since they solicited Franklin in CA
- (2) Convenience: will not suffer too much inconvenience for sending one or two agents to CA, while it would be much harder for old woman McGee to go to TX
- (3) Evidence: all evidence and proof to determine whether or not this was a suicide would all be located in CA
- (4) State Interests: CA has an interest to protect citizens from insurance company; TX has an interest to protect its businesses
- -Sets very low standard for minimum contacts
Hanson v. Denckla
- -Trust set up in DE by woman from PA
- -Woman moved to FL and died there—gave benefits to children who sued in FL for benefits
- -Delaware Trust claims FL does not have jurisdiction
- -FL does not have jurisdiction
Burger King v. Rudzewicz
- BK is FL corporation; R & M apply for franchise in MI
- Pro Jurisdiction FL: Purposeful Availment; State interest; foreseeable would be sued in FL since FL corp. and forum selection clause; Volume and Continuity of Contacts
- Against Jurisdiction in FL: Fairness & Convenience; Main Contacts with MI; No business activities in FL; MI state interest; No genuine consent; No foreseeability
- Holding: Jurisdiction in FL appropriate
World-Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson
- Car purchased in NY—Accident in OK—Residents of AZ
- Pro Minimum Contacts with OK: Car (foreseeable would move); Accident in OK; Evidence & Witnesses in OK; State interest; National economy
- Against OK Jurisdiction: No business in OK; petitioners are NY companies; no foreseeability; no purposeful availment (benefit); no continuity of contacts; not really a state interest since businesses are not OK and no residents are affected of OK
- Holding: OK court does not have jurisdiction—unilateral activity by PLF does not satisfy requirement of contact with state
What case established the 2 PART TEST FOR DUE PROCESS BRANCH and what is the test?
- Burger King v. Rudzewicz
- 1) Purposeful Availment
- (2) Reasonableness—Factors:
What are the reasonableness factors in Burger King?
- -Extent of the purposeful interjection into the forum state
- -Burden on D of defending in the forum
- -Extent of conflict with the sovereignty of D’s state
- -Forum State’s interest in adjudicating the dispute
- -Most efficient judicial resolution of the controversy
- -Importance of the forum to P’s interest in convenient and effective relief
- -Existence of an Alternative Forum
Asahi Metal v. Superior Court
- Pro Jurisdiction in CA: Introduction into stream of commerce; purposeful availment; foreseeability; state interest
- Against Jurisdiction in CA: Inconvenience; No business in CA; No volume of Contacts; No interest in US judiciary; No purposeful availament (only 1% business)
- Holding: CA did NOT have jurisdiction—no purposeful availment and it would be unreasonable for CA court to exercise jurisdiction. Both are foreign companies.
Gray v. American Radiator & Standard Sanitary
- P sues Titan, an OH company, in IL
- IL Long-Arm Statute Section 17(b)(1): Jurisdiction is predicated on commission of a tortious act in IL
- Since injury occurred in IL, Court finds the tort occurred within the state
- Minimum Contacts exist b/c products were sold in contemplation of use in IL
- Holding: Jurisdiction by IL proper
Shaffer v. Heitner
- Quasi-in-Rem Case
- H owned one share of stock of Greyhound, and sued officers and directors of subsidy
- Brought suit in DE, Conduct in question was in OR, Greyhound incorporated in DE, Principal place of business in AZ (if suing the corp. could sue in AZ or DE but he is suing people)
- Ds have never lived in DE, nor have they spent any time in DE—H attached their 82,000 shares of stock and options for jurisdiction
- Holding: Jurisdiction inappropriate in DE—Minimum Contacts applies to all 3 Jurisdiction
Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust
- Established a balancing test to determine whether publication is sufficient for service.
- Here, notice by publication was sufficient only for beneficiaries who were unknown or absent, since it would be overly costly to contact them.
- Rejected notion of whether the case was in rem or in personam—again rejecting the distinction (ancient distinction)
Bates v. C&S Adjusters
- Bill Collector’s letter was forwarded to PLF’s residence in NY. Venue in NY was appropriate b/c a substantial part of events given rise to action occurred in NY.
- Holding: Forwarding letters to the district in which debtor has moved is an important step in the collection process; Receipt of collection notice is a substantial part; evidence (collection notice) is located in NY.
Piper Aircraft v. Reyno
A plane crash occurred in Scotland, and victims were Scottish. They brought suit in the US (manufacturers of plane were from PA and OH). The case was dismissed for forum non conveniens, to be tried in Scotland, even though there would be much less possible remedy under Scottish laws.
Mas v. Perry
- College People in LA. Mr. from France, Mrs. from MI. DF from LA. They lived in LA, but had no intention of remaining there. Court said that domicile is determined by an Individual’s taking up residence in a location with intent of remaining there. PLFs win—there is diversity jurisdiction.
- Domicile Determined by:
- Individuals taking up residence in a location, with intention of remaining there
Louisville & Nashville R.R. v. Mottley
There was no federal question in the Complaint, but they anticipated a federal question in the defense. The court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, a defense is not enough—the case has to “arise under” a federal question.
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals v. Thompson
Case involved a State claim that needed interpretation of federal law. Court determined that this was not enough to maintain a federal question—there was no private right of action.
United Mine Workers v. Gibbs
- Gibbs asserts federal claim against DF under LMRA and a second claim under state law for interference with contractual relations
- Pendant Jurisdiction Case
- Holding: Supplemental Jurisdiction exists
- (1) Is there a substantial federal question in the case?
- (2) State and federal law claims must arise from a common nucleus of operative facts
- Court still has option of whether or not they will accept state law claim. They Consider:
- Judicial Economy, Convenience, Fairness
- Whether Federal of State Issues predominate
- Needless decisions of State Law should be avoided
- Jury Confusion
Hurt v. Dow
DF could not remove case to federal court b/c the pre-emption question was a defense, and the federal question must be the claim
Murphy v. Michetti
- PLF filed breach of contract and fraud action. DF filed notice of removal. PLF claims notice was 14 days late—PLF using time of the receipt of faxed copy of complaint—DF used time restriction starting from service of process
- Section 1446(b): Removal within 30 days after receipt of the complaint through service or otherwise
- Holding: 30 days are triggered only by receipt of service of process pursuant to requirements of Rule 4. Not all states have same rules
Swift v. Tyson
- Rules of Decision Act—State Laws apply in common law. Court here held that state laws mean only statutes, and does NOT include common law. Therefore, common law issues would be determined by federal law
- The rationale was that this was supposed to simplify everything if states adopted the federal common law (which never happened)
ERIE Railroad v. Tompkins
- Reversed Tyson. PLF injured walking by RR. PA law only allowed damages for gross, willful negligence; Federal Law allowed for ordinary negligence
- Holding: Except in matters governed by the Federal Constitution or by acts of Congress, the law to be applied in any case is the LAW OF THE STATE.