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Civil Procedure II
Santa Clara University School of Law
Russell, Margaret M.

RUSSELL SEMESTER 2
 
 
CIVIL PROCEDURE
 
 
Seventh Amendment-right to jury trial
àa party has a right to a jury trial in cases in lawànot in equity
                this right is protected by the seventh amendment of the constitution
                                -any controversy over $20
                                -either party can request jury
                                -defendants disfavor juries (runaway jury…)
                                -can be as few as 6 members
àwaiving right to a jury trial
                àa party will waive its to a jury if it fails to make a timely demand (10 days from service of pleading)
                àa court may order a jury trial by Motion, or its own initiative if a demand is not made
                àwaiver by contract may be effective if:
                                -it is knowingly and intentionally waived
                                -the party seeking waiver must prove that the contract was both voluntary and informed
                                -courts look at:
                                                -length of the contract
                                                -bargaining power between the parties
                                                -past business relationships
                                                -probabilities that parties understood the waiver of their right to a jury
 
law vs. equity
                traditional legal actions
a.       actions to enforce statutory rights if money is involved
a.       not back payàadministrative
b.       to recover land/ejectment
c.        stockholder’s derivative suit
d.       civil rights action for damages
àat CL cleanup doctrine-if law and equity are combined, both issues go before the judge
àML-when law and equity cases are combined in one action, the decision is made on an issue by issue basis. legal issues go to the jury first, then the equitable issues goto the judge
 
àthe court should err on the side of allowing a jury trial
-complex cases
                -in the spirit of judicial efficacy, historically complex issues that a jury may not be able to understand, did not go to the jury
                                -to minimize the risk of erroneous decisions
                                -gives the court discretion on what is a “complex matter”
                                                potential for misuse as a tool of policy
àdeclaratory relief-allows a decision to prevent an opposing party from filing subsequent suitàcan be either equitable or legal depending upon relief sought
 
APPROACH
                Right to jury trial
1.       what is the role of the constitutional text
a.       the intent of the framers (of the law)
2.       the remedy sought
a.       look at the underlying substantive claim
3.       what is the role of the history
a.       the context of the 7th amendment (1791)
b.       historical analogy
c.        “preserved” right
mixed cases
àlook at issue
àif there are any underlying issues of law between both legal and equitable claims
àjury issues go first
THERE IS NO RIGHT TO JURY TRIAL OF THE ISSUE OF DAMAGES
                                ànarrow reading only applies to civil penalties
                                àcourt can still allow jury to decide
 
JML AND RENEWED JMLàno rK party could hold for the party
Judgment as a Matter of Law (FRCP 50(a))
                A vehicle to prevent erroneous jury decisions
                Must be denied if a party makes out his prima facie case
                A movant can make said motion after opposing party has presented their complete case
                Legal fiction
                                In 1791, there was only a directed verdict, and no JNOV
                                                -by requiring a pre-requisite JML motion for renewed JML it creates the legal fiction that the judge has reserved the directed verdict to the end of the trial
                                -promotes judicial efficacy
                                                an appealed JML must be re-presented to a new jury
                                                an appealed renewed JML can be reversed
JNOV     FRCP 50(b)
                àRenewed Judgment as a Matter if Law motion may only be considered after the jury has submitted its verdict
                                -as a prerequisite, the movant must have requested a JML
                àin considering a JNOV motion, the court must weigh all the evidence in the light (and with all reasonable inference), most favorable to non-movant
                tests
JML MOTION MUST BE GRANTED AT THE END OF EVIDENCE IN ORDER FOR RENEWED JML(not just at the end of d’s evidence)
                àJNOV may be granted if:
                                -reasonable people could not have arrived at the jury’s verdict
                                or-there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for the non-movant
                àJNOV may be denied if evidence shows that reasonable people might have reached the same conclusion the jury did
                àcourts may also look to see if:     
                                -the jury was properly instructed
                                -the evidence is sufficient enough to support the movant’s position
                                -Special Interrogatories,

ly independent of liability issues, a new trial (if granted) may be limited to the question of damages
                                -if a court decides to use a remittitur, it must first offer the party a choice between:
                                                -accepting a reduction in damages
                                                or-proceeding with a new trial
                                -if remittitur is chosen, the court may not reduce damages below the “the maximum amount supported by the evidence”
                                -such maximum award should be reasonably proportioned to the amount of actual damages
                relief from judgment 60b
                                must be filed within 1 year of judgment
                                -lack of SMJ
                                Fraud, mistake, newly discovered evidence
                                -party did not participate in hearing
                                if time limit expires, an action can always be brought in equity
Service of Process
-service is the means by which the p notifies the D of its impending action. Minimum constitutional requirements have been established to assure that the D is properly notified before judgment may be taken against her
                                -proof of service within 120 days of filing action
                                -by any non-party over 18
                                -leaving in “usual place of abode”
                                                with a party of suitable age and discretion
                                A D may be sent with a request for a waiver of service
                                                Awards D a longer period to answer complaint
                                                Failure may result in incurring costs of service
                                CA allows for mail service to out of state parties
                                Property posting may be sufficient
                                Frcp 12b5
                                                Motion to dismiss for lack of sufficient service
constitutional minimum