Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure
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Subject Matter jurisdiction
- Federal cts are courts of limited juris.
- Two primary jurisdictional bases:
- 1) arising under federal law
- 2) diversity jurisdiction
Subject Matter Jurisdiciton: Arising Under Federal Law
- a claim arises under federa law if:
- 1) it is created by feeral law; or
- 2) merely depends on a substantial question (constitutional question)
- The federal issue must appear on the face of P's well plead complaint as part of P's claim and not merely by way of some defense
Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Diversity
- complete diversity b/t the plaintiff and any defendant +
- amount in controversey exceeds $75,000
Remember: match (of state) across the v.
Complete diversity of citizenship
no single P may be a citizen of the same state as any single D.
Diversity Juris: citizenship
- individuals: a person's state is her domicile.
- domicile is (1) the person's true home and (2) where they intend to remain or return. Determined at the time the lawsuit is filed.
- Corporations: citizens of (1) the state of incorporation; and (2) the principal place of business (HQ or nerve center)
- Unincorporated Associations: takes the citizenship of every single owner.
Diversity Juris: Aliens
- Aliens not admitted as permanent residents: pure aliens can sue a non-alien and there is diversity, and vice versa. BUT, a pure alien can't sue another pure alien
- Aliens admitted as permanent residents: not deemed aliens for diversity; they are domiciliaries of the state of their permanent residents
- American Citizens domiciled outside of America: can never sue or be sued on diversity
Diversity: Amount in Question
- Must exceed $75,000
- P's viewpoint/amount alleged governs: the value of the relief sought to the P must fully exceed $75,000.
- Rule: if the exam involves two claims, and there is a primary jurisdictional basis for one claim, but not the other, the federal court has discretion to assert supplemental juris over both claims if they derive from a common nucleus of operative facts.
- Narrow Exception:
- If the only primary jurisdictional basis is diversity, Ps cannot use supplemental jurisdiction to bring in additional claims against non-diverse parties.
- D's can use supplemental juris to bring additional claims against nondiverse parties, even if the only primary jurisdictional basis is diversity
- P can use supplemental juris if there is an arising under claim
- P can use supplemental juris to bring additional claims against diverse parties, even if the additional claims do not exceed $75,000
Removal & Remand
- D can remove any action from state ct to fed ct that geographically embraces the state court by filing a motion within 30 days of the state court complaint.
- BUT, P can file a motion to remand the action back to state court WITHIN ?? days of filing of the notice of removal.
- The fed ct must remand if it has no jurisdiction over the removed claims.
- Exception: if the only primary juris basis is diversity, there can be no removal if any single D is a citizen of the state in which the action is filed
- 1) federal court resolves a claim
- 2) the claim does not arise under federal law (i.e. diversity or supplemental juris)
- 3) there is a conflict b/t state law and federal law
- 1) if the conflict involves a federal statute, rule of civil procedure, or rule of evidence or the issue of trial by jury, then federal law govern.
- 2) if the conflict does not involve a federal statute, rule of civil procedure or evidence, or the issue of trial by jury state law governs where the difference b/t state and federal law would materially alter the outcome of the case.
- Therefore: state law governs unless claim involves a federal statute, federal rule of civ pro or evidence, or trial by jury
Personal Juris in Fed Ct.
absent a fed statute that grants juris, a fed ct merely borrows the same personal juris law of the state in which it sits
Service of process in Fed Cts
- Proper Methods: WASP
- 1) Waiver - P mails complaint to D w/ request for waiver of formal process; waiver extends the response period from 21 to 60 days.
- 2) Abode service - an authorized server who is an 18+-yr old non-party may leave process at D's last and usual abode w/ someone residing therein of suitable age and discretion.
- 3) agent service - in hand delivery or send a request to waive to an authorized agent or a managing agent
- 4) state methods - a fed ct can always borrow any available method in the state in which it sits
- 5) Personal service - in the vicinity (wingspan) of a reluctant D
- Service must also be constitutional: reasonably calculated to apprise parties of litigation (see all of the above).
- Rule: venue is proper in a district where either (1) any D resides, if all D's reside in the same state. Individuals reside where they're domiciled. Entities reside anywhere they're doing substantial business. (2) any substantial part of the claim arose
- Transfer of Venue: court has discretion to transfer the action to a proper venue for the convenience of the parties & Ws & the interest of justice.
General: complaints must contain sufficient facts to place the adversary on notice of plausible claims for which the law provides relief. But fraud claims require more particularity.
- The following responsive motions will be waived unless they're consolidated in the first responsive pleading (either an answer or a motion) filed w/in 21 days of service, or 60 days from the date the request for waiver was sent if formal process is waived.
- 1) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction
- 2) Motion to dismiss for lack of proper service
- 3) Motion challenging Venue
Amendments to the pleadings
- General Rule:
- Pleadings can be amended once as of right w/in 21 days of service.
- Otherwise, amendments shall be granted freely when justice so requires and the merits are thereby served.
- Relation Back of Amendments to Conform to the Statute of Limitations
- New Claims: an amendment to the complaint adding new claims relates back to the date of an original timely-filed complaint if the new claims derive from the same transaction or occurrence of the original claims.
- New Parties: amendment can add new parties, relating back, if (i) the claims against the new party derive from the same transaction or occurrence; and (2) the new party must have acquired knowledge of a mistake in name w/in 120 days of the filing of the complaint n
Joinder of Claims
- P can join as many claims against a D regardless of whether there is any connection b/t claims.
- **Court still need juris over the claims
Joinder of Parties
- P can join parties if the claims involving both parties derive from the same transaction occurrence or the same series of ongoing transactions or occurrences.
- **Court still need juris over the claims
- a claim by D against P.
- Permissive: a counterclaim that does not derive from the same transaction or occurrence as the P's claim
- Compulsory: a counterclaim that derives from the same transaction or occurrence as P's claim. It must be filed as a counterclaim cannot be filed as a separate later action; if so it will be dismissed.
- Third-party claims.
- D may implead a new claim against a new third party if the third party may be liable to D for all or part of D's same liability to P
- holder of a common fund may file an action against potential claimants and interplead all rival claimants to the common fund
- Traditional Rule Interpleader Diversity: must be complete diversity & exceed $75,000
- Statutory Interpleader Diversity: $500 or more is enough for amount in controversy & minimal diversity is enough.
- as of right: intervenor has the right to intervene if it has an interest that will be adversely affected by the lawsuit & not protected by the parties
- Permissive: judge's discretion if there is a commonality of issues b/t those in the ongoing suit and those affecting the intervenor.
non-party who cannot be joined as a party, but whose absence is so prejudicial to the party's right to a full & fair adjudication that the court in equity and good conscience must dismiss the lawsuit for failure to join an indispensable party
- Defined: an action in which a named P represents a class of commonly situated absent parties
- Class Action Fairness Act: fed cts have juris over class actions in which there are 100 or more Ps who together seek more than $5M if any single P is from a different state than any single D.
Class Actions: Certification Requirements
- Remember "CANT" requirements:
- Commonality - common issues of fact or law that pertain to the class
- Adequacy - fed judge must find the named P & class counsel will fairly and adequately represent the class
- Numerosity - class must be so numerous that it joinder would be impracticable; 40+
- Typicality - Ps claims are typical of the class
Constitutional Req't for seeking money
- If the class seeks monetary damages:
- 1) predominance common issues predominate over individual issues
- 2) superiority - class action device is a superior method of adjudicating the claims.
: ct must order notice to the class and give class members a chance to opt out
Proper if the (1) the method is proper; and (2) material sought is within the scope of discovery
Discovery Methods: Automatic prompt disclosure
- each side, before engaging in another discovery method must automatically disclose:
- 1) all potential supporting Ws;
- 2) all relevant supporting documents;
- 3) a damages computation;
- 4) relevant insurance coverage
Discovery Methods: Presumptive limits on traditional methods
- the only method that can be used on a non-party
- no longer than 7 hours each; no more than 10 deps/side
- Physical/Mental Exams:
- only method that requires a court order, which is granted for good cause shown.;
Discovery Methods: Duty to supplement
ongoing and automatic duty to update prior disclosures within a reasonable time of discovery any new info.
- material is within the scope if it is relevant and not privileged
- Relevant: relevant to any claims or defense & meed not be admissible
- Not Privileged (work-product)
Scope of Discovery: Privileged Work Product
- Defined: any material that has been prepared for litigation and not in the ordinary course of business
- 2 types of work-product w/ different rules
- 1) attorney's mental impressions (absolute privilege)
- 2) all other work product is generally not discoverable unless the opposing party makes a showing a substantial need for the material such that denial would impose an undue hardship.
Motion for Summary Judgment
- up to 30 days after the close of discovery, this motion may be filed &P granted if no genuine issue of material fact such that judgment is proper as a matter of law.
- after the motion is filed, the burden transfers to the non-moving party must demonstrate w/ evidence a genuine
Judgment as a matter of law (directed verdict)
- after adversary has rested its case this motion can be filed.
- granted if there is a legally insufficient evidentiary basis from which any reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party.
Renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law (JNOV)
- w/in 28 days of judgment if the party made an original JML motion before the jury went out.
- granted if there was a legally insufficient evidentiary basis from which any reasonable jury could have found the way it did.
Motion for a New Trial
- filed within 28 days of judgment
- granted in the court's discretion for:
- 1) errors affecting the parties' substantial trial rights
- 2) if the verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence
Right to Trial by Jury
- Must file written demand within 14 days of the service of the last pleading which contains, or responds to, the jury-triable claim.
- Means, if you're a P and you want trial by jury, you have to put it in the complaint or within 14 days of service. If you're D, then put it in the answer or within 14 days of service.
- Constitutional Right: if the claim seeks primarily monetary damages, there is the right to trial by jury.
- Res Judicata
- Collateral Estoppel
- Finality Rule
a claim which has been fully and fairly litigated to a final judgment on the merits cannot be relitigated by the parties.
an issue which has been fully and fairly litigated as part of a final judgment on the merits cannot be relitigated by the parties.
Parties are barred from relitigating claims or issues which they have already fully and fairly litigated to a final judgment on the merits.
Offensive Collateral Estoppel
Hypo: the SEC files a securities fraud claim against X. X loses. A class of private investors then files a class action against X for the same fraud. Is X bound by the adverse judgment against it?
Answer: Yes, X was a party that fully and fairly litigated the securities fraud claim against it in the first lawsuit. Therefore, it may not relitigate those claims or issues in the subsequent lawsuit. Accordingly the private investors will win on summary judgment b/c there is no longer any genuine issue of fact.
Appellate courts of appellate jurisdiction and therefore have jurisdiction only over appeals.
Rule of appellate jurisdiction
- Rule: only final orders can be appealed, which leave nothing left to be done in the lower court.
- 1) Partial final order - order resolving some claims, but not all claims. judge may allow the appeal if there is no just reason to delay the appeal.
- 2) Discretionary Appeal of Interlocutory Order
Discretionary Appeal of Interlocutory Order
- Both the district court and the appellate court must certify:
- 1) doubt that the order was correctly resolved;
- 2) on a controlling issue of law; on which
- 3) appellate review would materially advance the litigation.
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