Civ Pro Outline Fall 2009
-MS in 5th Federal Circuit (MS, LA, TX)
-13 circuits total-11 circuits + DC + Fed’l Circuit
Subject Matter Jurisdiction (smj)- what court- type of dispute
General- ct can hear any claim, unless legal authority limits (i.e. probative)
Limited- cts. limited by statute to hear certain types of cases (all fed’l cts are limited jurisdiction)
Concurrent- when jurisdiction overlaps b/t 2 cts.
-all states have at least 1 trial court of general smj
-all fed’l cts are cts of limited smj b/c what they can hear is outlined in Art III §2 od constitution, or by fed’l code.
Diversity Jurisdiction- U.S.C. §1332- Civil actions b/t citizens of a different state AND where matter exceeds $75,000, may be heard in fed’l ct. Used to take away possible bias or favoritism of state cts.
Personal Jurisdiction (PJ)- suit may be brought in forum where D is subject to pj (fed’l and state). Power of ct over particular Ds.
Hawkins v. Masters Farms-PJ is determined by domicile
Residence- where person lives
Intent to remain indefinitely
Venue- actual geographical location of trial.
-Purely statuory; not something Congress had to pass under Constitution.
– For fed’l cases, case should be brought:
1. Where D lives
2. Where cause of action arose,
3. if (a) and (b) don’t give fed’l ct- wherever D has pj.
Service of process- summons issued by ct w/ complaint. Two basic means of service(Rule 4)- waiver of service and summons served.
Stating the Case
Bridges v. Diesel Services-lawyer failed to file with EEOC before bringing suit
Rule 11(b): sanctions for improper filing, frivolous suits
Bell v. Novick Transfer-Rule 8(a) requires a short and plain statement
Rule 12(b)(6):motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
Responses- defense of the action:
Pre-answer motions- takes no position on truth or falsity of P’s allegations, but tries to get suit dismissed- no smj, no pj, venue improper, summons defective or improperly served, 12(b)6.
Answer- responds to allegations of complaint
Admit or deny truth of allegations- if not answered, deemed admitted
Affirmative Defenses- statute of limitations; lacks jurisdiction
Counterclaims- claim for relief asserted against opposing party
Cross-claims- against co-party
Parties to the Lawsuit
Larson v. Am. Family Mutual- Atty. didn’t sue b/c hoped to be retained by Ins. Co.
Permissive joinder- Rule 20- may join
Compulsory joinder- Must join b/c invokes rights that are joint
Discovery = Factual development
Disclosures- names of witnesses, documents
Subpoena of Documents
Oral Depositions- Rule 30 or 45
Written Interrogatories- Rule 33
Physical and Mental exams
Requests for admissions
Butler v. Rigby- Hospital claims privilege for documents requested by D. Discover includes not only info admissible at trial, but also inadmissible info that could lead to other info.
Rule 26(b)1: Any facts are discoverable as long as they appear reasonably calculated to lead to discovery of admissible evidence.
– Limitations to Discovery:
1. Privileged info
3. has been ample opportunity to discover
4. burden outweighs likely benefit
Houchens v. American Home Assurance- husband disappears in Thailand, wife wants to collect accidental death insurance.
-Rule 56 -Summary Judgment- filed after discovery, granted if no issue of material fact
Other methods of pretrial disposition
Default Judgment- Rule 55- D fails to answer complaint entirely or fails to defend
Dismissal- if P does not obey order of ct.
Voluntary Dismissal- Rule 41 (a)- D asks for, if they want to start over.
directed verdict/ summary judgment- moved for after P’s presentation of case, then again after D’s presentation of case.
Juries render verdicts, Judges enter orders
J.N.O.V.- judgment not withstanding jury’s verdict
Norton v. Snapper Power Equipment- Inadequate “dead man” switch on lawnmower
-Rule 50(a) JNOV should be granted for moving party only when, having taken evidence as most favorabl
contacts so that maintenance of a suit does not violate traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice (Ex. czars wreck in Memphis)
– Whereas Pennoyer looked for presence, Shoe examines contacts w/ state, and if contacts give rise to the lawsuit.
Looked at to determine sufficient presence in forum state
Suit must arise out of contacts
D must have “purposefully availed” himself to laws of forum state
Purposeful availment- to enjoy protection of laws of state while being subject to laws if doing business
Look at every single minute contact D had w/ forum state. Then analyze to determine if they are sufficient. Then, if yes, determine if suit arises from said contacts
Traditional Notions of Fair Play and Substantial Justice: (TNFPSJ)
Is it fair and just for D to be sued in forum state?
Very elastic- judges have discretion
Things cts consider to decide if suit violates TNFPSJ
Burden on D to be tried in forum state
Interest of forum state in adjudicating the dispute
P’s interest in convenient and effective relief
Interstate judicial systems’ interest in obtaining efficient resolutions
Shared interest of states in furthering fundamental substantive social policy
Shoe did away w/ strict requirement of actual presence as required contact. It modified Pennoyer to include corporations and growth of interstate. Settled question of what it means for a corporation to be present in a state.
McGee v. Int’l Life Insurance, 1957 – TX ins. Co. has policy w/ CA resident
Finds specific jurisdiction over a D/corporation when D’s only contact w/ forum state(CA) was through the mail.