– Disputation through intermediaries. Trial by combat (proxy), trial by ordeal (documentation),
– Key themes
o 1. Division of Judicial Power: Multiple tribunals/jurisdictions: the purpose is to keep them properly divided.
o 2. Upstream decisions affect downstream possibilities.
o 3. Tension between getting it done and getting it right. The two different virtues.
o 4. Most cases aren’t tried. Trials are rare, but the procedures are designed to move things toward a trial.
o 5. Secondary turbulence problem: Rule 11 implications of the case, rather than the actual merits of the case.
o 6. Lawyers make it go.
– Hawkins v. Master Farms, Inc.:
o Plaintiff that moves to another state, still had a sufficient connection to sue a citizen from the state he moved from.
§ General Jurisdiction: Any claim unless legal authority prevents it.
§ Limited Jurisdiction: Specifically authorized by statute for a particular court: All federal courts.
§ Diversity Jurisdiction: Constitutional issues of citizens that live in different states. Article III.
· 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332.
– Personal Jurisdiction: Over the defendant.
o There may be also personal connections, with the state at hand.
– Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction over the case.
– Federal Question Jurisdiction: 28 U.S.C. 1331
o Cases arising under federal law, state law cases between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, and state law claims that arise out of the same basic facts as federal claims.
Complaint and Pleading
– Bridges v. Diesel Service, Inc.
o The lawyer failed to exhaust their statutorily required administrative remedies before going to court.
o Violated Rule 12(b): Defenses and Objections
§ (1) Lack of Subject Matter; (2) No personal jurisdiction; (3) Improper Venues; (4) Insufficient process, Def. not properly served; (5) Not served properly; (6) Fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; (7) Necessary party.
– Bell v. Novick Transfer Co.
o It is filed and state court and ends up in federal court.
§ Due to negligence, there is missing information which is pivotal to this case.
· Had the case remained in state court, it would have failed. In federal court, it could pass.
– Rule 8: Short and plain statement of the court’s jurisdiction; claim showing that the writer is entitled to relief; and a demand for judgment for relief. The notion of notice pleading.
o May admit, deny, or raise an affirmative defense. Furthermore, then may lodge a counterclaim.
o Rule 8(c): Affirmative Defenses
§ A party shall set forth affirmatively; award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, no consideration, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitations, waiver, or any other.
o Rule 12(e): Motion for a more definite statement.
– Rule 14: permits impleading a third party. However, this is only at a pre-specified point in the litigation.
– Amendments of Pleadings.
o Rule 15(a) allows for the amendment of the pleadings to reflect the necessities of justice. 20 day-time restriction.
– Arise during the pleading stages of the lawsuit. .
– There are Rules which allow for the gathering of information during the discovery period.
o Is a modern practice. Compelling assistance to unearth facts.
o 5 means of disclosure
§ 1. Disclosures: A part must, without being asked, reveal to each other certain basic information supporting the party’s claims or defenses.
· Rule 26(a)(1).: Mandatory, immediate disclosure.
· Party-initiated discovery: Information may be obtained for parties and non parties. My use interrogatories or depositions.
§ 2. ProductionofDocuments. Including written papers, photos, videos, sound recordings, etc. which may be in the hands of third parties.
§ 3. OralDepositions: Questioning under oath, before the trial.
§ 4. WrittenInterrogatories
· Rule 33: Written questions which are answered in writing.
§ 5. Physicaland Mental Examinations. Rule 35
o Rule 26 applies to all discovery methods.
§ Limit on Discovery: Privileged information, work product, and expert information rules.
· Rule 26(a)(2): Disclosure of Expert Testimony.
– Butler v. Rigby
o Holding: Health provider’s patient list is protected under doctor-patient priviledge, thus not discoverable.
Resolution Before Trial
– Voluntary Dismissal: Dismissed by plaintiff.
– Involuntary Dismissal: Dismissed by court if party does not comply with the rules; or there is no claim.
o Summary Judgment: Rule 56 – Judgment may be entered as a matter of law.
– Houchens v. American Home Assurance Co.
o The widow Houchens v. Evil Insurance Co. Her husband disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Bangkok.
o The district court found that there is no issue of the facts, and judgment as a matter of law can be granted for the defendant. Seeing as the widow could not present evidence of an accident.
– Norton v. Snapper Power Equipment
o Plaintiff de-fingered by lawn-mower.
§ The district court erred
erved while in state.
§ In Rem: The court has to seize or exercise dominion over the property at the outset of the action.
– International Shoe Co. v. Washington
o Issue: Jurisdiction expanded over defendants who are not in the same state. Replaced Pennoyer.
o Minimum Contacts Test: This is consistent with minimum notions of fair play and justice. Connections between the defendant and the trial forum.
§ Specific and General Jurisdiction: Operationalizing minimum contacts.
· Arising out of: Single or occasionally acts might suffice. Specific Jurisdiction.
· Do not arise out of: If unrelated to contacts, jurisdiction is not be allowed if there were many contacts.
· Overwhelming Contacts: Cases where contacts are continous and systematic. General Jurisdiction.
o For Internet questions: Dominant way is to sort it out using in personam jurisdiction.
– McGee v. International Life Insurance Co.
o Insurance policy purchaser paid from Cali. To Texas. Was sufficient contact. There was a substantial connection.
– Hanson v. Denckla
o King Lear story. 2 evil daughters and 1 stupid one. Trust for Delaware trustee. When dead, FL action for gaining assets. Personal jurisdiction over Delaware trustee.
§ The move to Florida did not establish contacts to Delaware. The trust could not be terminated. Lose.
– Shaffer v. Heitner
o Expanding the Minimum Contacts Test expanded to also apply to in rem jurisdiction.
o Heitner, non-Delawarean, ones 1 share of Greyhound. Sued previous officers for exposing the company to substantial losses to anti-trust suit, and criminal contempt actions. This took place in Oregon.
§ Appellants contended this violated due process, and also claimed under International Shoe, there were insufficient contacts in Delaware for there to be jurisdiction.
o Quasi in remsuit. Attachment to property in the jurisdiction, not the contacts of the people in that state.
§ The property is a contact; Jurisdiction not over the property, but the person’s interest in that property.
– Harris v. Balk: Another Quasi in rem action.