Civil Procedure Outline
Professor Mateikis on Yanzell 7th Ed.
Unit 1 – Civil Procedure in Context
Situate civil procedure in the 1st year curriculum, situate litigation in the realm of dispute resolution, and understand the context of litigator’s work, introduction to complex ligation and alternative dispute resolution.
The idea and the practice of procedure
v Civil procedure governs the behavior of courts and litigating attorneys; it deals with the ways in which courts can be used to resolve disputes.
v A lawyer must make “procedural” decision on behave of their client, they deal with the ways in which courts can be used to enforce the client’s rights created by the substantive law.
v A lawsuit is divided into roughly three stage: pretrial, trial, and post-trial. The pretrial stage is in turn dividing into two parts: pleading stage and factual development stage. Questions like jurisdiction, pleading, and parties normally arise during the pleading stage. The question of discovery typically arises during the factual developments stage.
Structure of state courts
v The major function of a trial court are to determine the facts of the dispute and to apply the law to these facts.
v An appellate court’s primary responsibilities are to review the trial court’s application of the law to the facts of the case and to clarify ambiguities in the law.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction (judicial competency)
v Subject matter jurisdiction is defined as the power or authority of a court to decide a particular type of legal dispute.
v State trial courts with general jurisdiction are competent to hear all type of disputes not exclusively assigned to other state courts. State trial courts with limited jurisdiction have subject matter jurisdiction over matters expressly assigned to them.
v Federal trial courts are courts of limited jurisdiction because the Constitution permits them to decide only particular types of legal dispute. i.e. diversity jurisdiction case
v Once subject matter jurisdiction is established, the next step in selecting a proper court is to determine in which state the lawsuit can be brought. This consideration raise the issue of personal jurisdiction, sometime called territorial jurisdiction.
v Where subject matter jurisdiction is defined as judicial power over the subject matter of the lawsuit, personal jurisdiction is defined as judicial power over the powers on or property involved in the lawsuit.
v Two rule governing personal jurisdiction
· State rule. Evolved from common law rule that in essence only allowed a state court to exercise personal jurisdiction when the defendant or property was present within the state, to a modern rule that allows for the additional exercise of extraterritorial personal jurisdiction when sufficient ties, or “minimum contacts,” exist between the defendant, the subject matter of the litigation, and the state. The modern rule has expanded a state court’s ability to exercise personal jurisdiction over defendant’s
· Federal rules. The basic rule sets permissible range of federal power “any where within the territorial limit of the state in which the district court is held. Generally, is the same as state rule. However, the Federal Rules contain several extraterritorial provision, some of which incorporate state extraterritorial rules which allow a federal court to exercise power beyond state border.
Rule 1. – Scope and Purpose
@ The rules should be construed ad administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.
@ Procedure is the etiquette of ritualize battle, defining the initiation, development, and conclusion of a lawsuit.
v Determine where the lawsuit ban be brought. Venue means the “place of trial.”
@ Venue is the location where a case is heard. In US, the venue is either a county or a district or division. (1) the district where any defendant resides if all defendants reside in the same state, (2) the district where a substantial part of the events giving rise to the claim occurred, or (3) the district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction if there is no district in which claim can otherwise be brought.
Hawkins v. Master Farms, Inc
v The court held that Mr. Creal was a resident of KS at the time of his death because he physically lived there and his action demonstrated that he intended to stay. The motion to dismiss was granted.
v Hawkins was the estate representative of Mr. Creal. Master Farm’s tracker killed Mr. Creal in an car accident. P thought there is diversity jurisdiction (P and D does not resided at the same state) and file a suit to a federal court. Federal court has limited jurisdiction and can only hear case involve different state residence. D filed a motion to dismiss.
v Although there was complete diversity between all Ds and Ps, but the legal representative of the estate of a decedent shall be deemed to be a citizen only of the same state as the decedent. This means that Hawkins citizenship is irrelevant because Hawkins is suing not for herself but only as representative of Mr. Creal. Thus, the focus must be on the citizenship of Mr. Creal at the
of the “pure heart and empty head” defense.
v In this case, the objective standard is satisfied if the pleadings filed and signed (certified) by P’s counsel were “supported by a reasonable factual investigation and “a normally competent level of legal research”
v Rule 11 sanctions should be reserved for those exceptional circumstances in which the claim asserted is ptently unmeritorious or frivolous.
@ Every pleading written motion, and other paper must be signed.
@ Presenting a pleading – whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it – an attorney certified that to the best of [his or her] knowledge, information and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
@ Court may impose sanction for violation of Rule 11(b)
@ Rule 11 does not apply to discovery
Bridges v. Diesel Service, (Denial of Rule 11 motion)
v Monetary sanctions in the form of attorney’s fee may not be imposed on plaintiff’s counsel for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The error was procedural not substantive and the attorney quickly recognized the error t and attempted to fix it
v P sued D claiming that D violates her right under the Americans with Disabilities Act. D dismissed P the sue D. Court dismissed the action, because P failed to file a charge of discrimination with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission first.
v The court did not impose sanction on the plaintiff’s attorney because the error was procedural not substantive and the attorney quickly recognized the error t and attempted to fix it
v P sued former employer under the ADA alleging he was terminated because of his disability. The suit was dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The defendant then move for sanction as in rule 11.
@ P’s lawyer violate rule 11(b)(2) by signing and filing a complaint initiating a lawsuit before adequately researching if the claim was warranted.
@ The claim was not warranted because Bridges had not exhausted the administrative requirement of filing a charge with the EEOC.
@ Rule 11(c) permits sanctions but does not mandate them