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TABLE OF CONTENTS
SOURCES: Clermont, Civil Procedure Stories (2004) Friedenthal, Kane & Miller, Civil Procedure (4th ed. 2005) Glannon, Civil Procedure: Examples and Explanations (4th ed. 2001) Hazard, Tait, Fletcher & Bundy, Pleading and Practice: State and Federal (9th ed. 2005)
Some important themes: Justice vs. efficiency. The purpose underlying the establishment of most rules of civil procedure, in any judicial system, is to provide a fair process for ascertaining the truth and achieving the just, efficient, and economical resolution of civil disputes. This is not to say that these goals always will be met or that they are entirely consistent Adversary system vs. judicial management. The Anglo-American judicial system is based on the adversary model, which in many respects is lawyer-centered The main feature of the adversary system that influences the development of particular procedures is that the parties (or their lawyers) control and shape litigation The traditional view is that the judge sits solely to decide disputed questions of law and procedure. Issues not raised, objections not mentioned, and points not made are, with very few exceptions, waived. The case proceeds only in response to the demands of the litigants. Necessarily, then, the adversary model places enormous emphasis and responsibility on the lawyers; the court maintains a relatively passive role throughout the proceedings The ideal of the adversary system has come under increasing pressure in modern times. Many judges have assumed more active roles in guiding the litigation before them. This is seen in the participation of judges in the settlement process, during the pre-trial conference stage, and in the various management techniques by which courts are responding to complex modern litigation Substance vs. procedure. The field of civil procedure necessarily overlaps with other matters that are related more directly to whether a claimant possesses a recognized legal right to recover, or, conversely, any defenses
I. CHOOSING THE PROPER COURT
Requirements to be satisfied before a suit can be brought in a particular court: 1. Territorial jurisdiction 2. Subject matter jurisdiction 3. Venue and the ability to withstand a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens
A. TERRITORIAL/PERSONAL JURISDICTION
Territorial jurisdiction: the authority of a court to require a person or thing to submit to binding adjudication Every territorial jurisdiction issue involves a two-step analysis: 1. Given the circumstances of the case, would it be constitutional under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment for the court to exercise territorial jurisdiction? 2. Is there a state statute that authorizes the court to exercise such jurisdiction?
Brief History Development of territorial jurisdiction proceeded from an early focus on physical presence in a state to the modern concept of “minimum contacts” between a party and a state Before the adoption of the 14th Amendment, territorial jurisdiction operated along “international” law lines COMITY: respect and deference that one sovereign shows to another, even if there is no force of law compelling such respect Since the adoption of the 14th Amendment, the validity of a state’s judgments on jurisdiction (even within its own borders) may be directly questioned by federal government Rationale for Territorial Jurisdiction Basic fairness The geographical limitation on the places where a plaintiff may choose to sue a defendant for a particular claim is intended to prevent the plaintiff from suing a nonresident defendant in a state unless that defendant has established a relationship to that state that would reasonably lead her to anticipate being sued there
1. CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS ON TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the states from “depriv[ing] any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” A state would violate this guarantee if its courts entered judgments against defendants without following a fair judicial procedure, and fair procedure includes not only such traditional elements as the right to counsel or to cross-examine witnesses, but also appropriate limits on places where a defendant can be required to defend a lawsuit The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the federal government from “depriv[ing] any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” It is generally held that Congress has the power to authorize federal courts to exercise nationwide jurisdiction, that is, to require parties with contacts anywhere in the United States to respond 2
the authority for federal district courts to exercise territorial jurisdiction outside the state where they sit is restricted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (see I-A-2-b).S. 95 U.. seeking to recover his property Issue Whether service by publication was enough to subject a non-resident to territorial jurisdiction in Oregon Holding Non-residents must be given personal service of process for a state to exercise territorial jurisdiction over them Reasoning Opinion by Field “No State can exercise direct jurisdiction and authority over persons or property without its territory” “If. the Court upheld “tag” jurisdiction based on in-state service. which requires only that the defendant be present in the state at the time that the summons and complaint are served upon her Consent (lack of territorial jurisdiction is a waivable defect) A defendant may consent to territorial jurisdiction or fail to make a timely objection to want of territorial jurisdiction. 604 (1990). obtained ex parte against non-residents and absent parties. where judgment was entered for Neff on the ground that Mitchell’s affidavit in the Oregon trial court had not complied with the procedural requirements of the Oregon statute Facts Mitchell (an Oregon resident) brought suit against Neff (a non-resident who owned property in Oregon) in Oregon state trial court for unpaid legal services Mitchell sought to establish in personam jurisdiction over Neff Mitchell published notice of suit for 6 weeks in county newspaper Neff did not appear in court to defend the suit. 457 (1940).Procedure to suits brought in any federal district court. without personal service. Bases for Territorial Jurisdiction Domicile DOMICILE: where a person has taken up residence with the intent to reside indefinitely In Milliken v. Superior Court of California. judgments in personam. However. the Court approved of general jurisdiction over individual defendants based on domicile in the state Physical presence (i. service of process within the state) See Pennoyer In Burnham v. in 3 . so a default judgment was entered against him Neff’s property was attached and sold to Mitchell. 495 U. Meyer. and thereby subject herself to the adjudicatory authority of the court Minimum contacts See International Shoe Pennoyer v. 311 U.e. which. who sold it to Pennoyer (an Oregon resident) Neff sued Pennoyer in federal circuit court (on diversity of citizenship). 714 (1877) Posture Appeal from the federal Circuit Court for the District of Oregon.S. Neff.S. upon mere publication of process.
In Rem Jurisdiction IN PERSONAM: jurisdiction over a person. whether property is attached to establish jurisdiction. would never be seen by the parties interested. or attached merely to satisfy a judgment. binding a defendant personally. personal jurisdiction was not obtained.S. under Pennoyer.g. to establish jurisdiction. Thus. delivered personally to the defendant within the state). or for an injunction against wrongful acts) IN REM: jurisdiction over a thing TRUE IN REM: bind property in the sense of adjudicating the rights of all persons who claim interest in the property (in rem actions include. and did not authorize a sale of the property in controversy” Significanc Demonstrated relevance of state boundaries e Favored nonresident defendants by making them harder to sue Jurisdiction constitutionalized under 14th A Due Process Clause Mitchell v. they would be the constant instruments of fraud and oppression”.. such judgments violate the Due Process Clause of the 14th A Service by publication allowed only in proceedings in rem. where judgment was entered for 4 .. as well as giving notice to the defendant of the suit. property is brought within the jurisdiction of the court by “attachment” International Shoe Co. 310 (1945) Posture Appeal from the Supreme Court of Washington.g. but today the two are quite distinct. if service was not made properly (that is. purpose of attachment is to satisfy a judgment. The two requirements were thus frequently discussed as though they were interchangeable. then a non-resident of the State. e. suits for damages arising out of tort or breach of contract. Washington.. matters “[T]he personal judgment recovered in the State Court of Oregon against the plaintiff herein. could be upheld and enforced.g. v. typically providing damages or injunctive relief (in personam actions include. e. Neff: lawyer sues a former client Suits over attorney’s fees are an exception to the confidentiality rules When Pennoyer was decided.. 326 U.Procedure the great majority of cases. suits to settle all potential claims to a fixed sum. was without any validity. or to hold defendant’s property while trial is pending (to ensure proceedings are not nugatory) In Personam vs. tort or contract claims for damages against an absent defendant who owns real property within the state). but the underlying dispute is unrelated to the property (e. service of process on the defendant within the forum state was the predominant means of obtaining jurisdiction.g. as in a quiet title action to settle all possible claims to land) QUASI IN REM: settles property rights only of specific persons Type 1: resolves a dispute about the property itself (e. a suit to foreclose a mortgage on property within the jurisdiction of the court where a claimant is outside the court’s jurisdiction) Type 2: establishes rights to property. and either may be satisfied though the other is not Mitchell’s mistake: he failed to attach land to establish jurisdiction ATTACHMENT: seizure of property in connection with suit as means of notice that suit is pending.
without any ‘ifs’ or ‘buts. They were systematic and continuous throughout the years in question.’ a power to tax and to open the doors of its courts for its citizens to sue corporations whose agents do business in those states” Established the doctrine of “minimum contacts” for proceedings in personam—a new basis for territorial jurisdiction Undermined core premise of Pennoyer—that states could assert no direct Facts Issue Holding Reasoning Significanc e 5 . International Shoe has. if he be not present within the territory of the forum. Washington also mailed a copy of the notice to the company’s St.Procedure Washington International Shoe Co. Louis office Washington sued International Shoe for unpaid contributions to the state unemployment compensation fund Whether. he have certain minimum contacts with it such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice’” “[T]he activities carried on behalf of appellant in the State of Washington were neither irregular nor casual. rendered itself amenable to proceedings in Washington courts to recover unpaid contributions to the state unemployment compensation fund A state may exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant if she has such minimum contacts with the state that it would be fair to require her to return and defend a lawsuit in that state “[Washington] may maintain the present suit in personam to collect the tax laid upon the exercise of the privilege of employing appellant’s salesmen within the state” Opinion by Stone Presence established if out-of-state defendant has “minimum contacts” with the forum “[D]ue process requires only that in order to subject a defendant to a judgment in personam. Louis Under Washington law. all employers must contribute to a state unemployment fund International Shoe failed to make contributions to the fund Washington (appellee) served notice of assessment of delinquent contributions on a salesman employed by International Shoe. by its activities in Washington. They resulted in a large volume of interstate business” “[T]hese operations establish sufficient contacts or ties with the state of the forum to make it reasonable and just according to our traditional conception of fair play and substantial justice to permit the state to enforce the obligations which appellant has incurred here” Concurrence by Black All these rules do not mean anything. appellant) employed 11–13 salesmen in Washington International Shoe had no office in Washington. if you do business in the state. (a Delaware corporation. so its salesmen were supervised by managers in St. expect to be sued “I believe that the Federal Constitution leaves to each State. within the limits of the 14th A’s Due Process Clause.
thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws” This language emphasizes that the defendant must have made a deliberate choice to relate to the state in some meaningful way before she can be made to bear the burden of defending there 6 .. General Jurisdiction SPECIFIC JURISDICTION: the defendant may be sued in the state only for claims arising out of its “minimum contacts”—that is.Procedure jurisdiction over people outside the state Increased the ability of the state courts to obtain personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants Specific vs. an ongoing business relationship) = specific in personam jurisdiction (i.. that the defendant must have “purposely avail[ed] itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State.e. 357 U.S.. unless defendant consents to it Single act of a certain “quality or nature” = specific in personam jurisdiction (i. whenever specific jurisdiction is at issue. Denckla. a court must consider the relation of the contacts to the cause of action against the defendant GENERAL JURISDICTION: the defendant may be sued in the state for any claim.g. jurisdiction only over claims arising out of that single act) Continuous but limited activity (e. only for claims related to its in-state activities. even one completely unrelated to its in-state activities. 235 (1958). unless defendant consents to it “Casual” or “isolated” contacts = no jurisdiction.e. general jurisdiction is appropriate where the defendant’s activities in the state are so substantial and continuous that she would expect to be subject to suit there on any claim and would suffer no inconvenience from defending there What Contacts Meet the “Minimum” Requirement? The Shoe Spectrum No contacts = no jurisdiction. jurisdiction only over claims arising out of that continuous activity) Very substantial contacts = general in personam jurisdiction Decreasing contacts Extent of Contacts no contacts casual or isolated single act continuous but limited no jurisdiction no jurisdiction specific jurisdiction Increasing contactssubstantial or pervasive Jurisdictional Consequences specific jurisdiction (2) general jurisdiction (1) How Do We Know Where Line (1) Lies? The Doctrine of Purposeful Availment Many cases have relied on the statement in Hanson v.
it had not sought any direct benefit from Oklahoma activities sufficient to require it to submit to jurisdiction there How Do We Know Where Line (2) Lies? The Court has not clearly indicated where the line lies between contacts that support general in personam jurisdiction and those that support only specific. She is either physically present. had not purposely availed itself of the opportunity to conduct activities in Oklahoma. in Calder v. Woodson. or deliberately focused on Oklahoma as a market.Procedure In Worldwide Volkswagen v. regardless of whether the claim arose in the state where suit was brought. the defendant was held subject to personal jurisdiction in California for an allegedly defamatory article written in Florida. but it may also be subject to general in personam jurisdiction in many additional states For example. Seaway. The defendant who deliberately chooses to take advantage of the “benefits and protections of the laws” of a state will not be heard to cry “foul” when that state holds her to account in its courts for her in-state acts The problem of the “artificial” person It is usually very easy to determine whether a natural person is present in a state. Companies that have such extensive activities. 286 (1980).S. or she is not. and the plaintiff’s career was centered there Minimum contacts analysis focuses on the time when the defendant acted.S. Thus. that those activities may lead to controversies and lawsuits there. advertised there. if not all states. Jones. and that the state has a right to enforce the orderly conduct of affairs within its borders by adjudicating disputes that arise from such in-state activities. cultivated Oklahoma customers. the plaintiff lived there. the Court concluded that the Audi dealer. minimum contacts jurisdiction A corporation will almost certainly be subject to general in personam jurisdiction in the states where it is incorporated and has its principal place of business. 783 (1984). personnel. although it could foresee that others would take its cars there. 465 U. of course) a reciprocal duty to answer for its in-state activities in the local courts A defendant should understand that her activities within the state will have an impact there. and facilities in a state may fairly be considered “at home” there and. 444 U. a major American oil company would be subject to personal jurisdiction in many. subject to the burden of submitting generally to jurisdiction there Some Additional Guidelines in Applying Minimum Contacts A defendant may have sufficient contacts with a state to support minimum contacts jurisdiction there even though she did not act within the state For example. since the article was to be circulated in California. not the time of the lawsuit The Rationale for Minimum Contacts The principle of reciprocity The Shoe Court suggested that a corporation that chooses to conduct activities within a state accepts (implicitly. But the question is not so easy for an artificial person such as a corporation 7 . The dealer had not sold cars there. therefore.
Procedure The minimum contacts test applies to individual as well as corporate defendants 8 .
Appellants’ holdings in Greyhound do not. provide contacts with Delaware sufficient to support the jurisdiction of that State’s 9 . nor is the underlying cause of action related to the property. a nonresident of Delaware) owned 1 share of stock in Greyhound Heitner alleged that 21 officers and directors of Greyhound (appellants/defendants. Yet that property is not the subject matter of this litigation.S.’ The standard for determining whether an exercise of jurisdiction over the interests of persons is consistent with the Due Process Clause is the minimum-contacts standard elucidated in International Shoe” “The Delaware courts based their assertion of jurisdiction in this case solely on the statutory presence of appellants’ property in Delaware. by which defendants’ shares of Greyhound stock were seized Defendants contended that the sequestration procedure did not accord them due process of law and that the property seized was not capable of attachment in Delaware Issue Whether the standard of fairness and substantial justice set forth in International Shoe should be held to govern actions in rem as well as in personam Whether a Delaware statute that allows a court of that state to take jurisdiction of a lawsuit by sequestering any property of the defendant that happens to be located in Delaware is constitutional Holding “[A]ll assertions of state court jurisdiction must be evaluated according to the standards set forth in International Shoe and its progeny” “Delaware’s assertion of jurisdiction over appellants in this case is inconsistent with that constitutional limitation [in the 14th A’s Due Process Clause] on state power” Reasoning Opinion by Marshall “[I]n order to justify an exercise of jurisdiction in rem. Heitner. 186 (1977) Posture Appeal from the Delaware Supreme Court. nonresidents of Delaware) had violated their duties by subjecting Greyhound to damages in an antitrust suit and a large fine in a criminal contempt action Heitner filed a motion for an order of sequestration of the Delaware property of the defendants. the basis for jurisdiction must be sufficient to justify exercising ‘jurisdiction over the interests of persons in a thing.Procedure Other Factors in the Jurisdictional Calculus of “Fair Play and Substantial Justice” It is only when minimum contacts exist between the defendant and the forum state that other factors will be weighed in determining whether the exercise of jurisdiction would comport with “fair play and substantial justice” Other factors include: the interests of the forum state in providing redress to its citizens enforcing their substantive law or policy the interest of the plaintiff in obtaining relief in a convenient forum the interest of the defendant in defending in a convenient forum Shaffer v. where judgment was entered for Heitner Facts Heitner (appellee/plaintiff. 433 U. therefore.
Procedure courts over appellants” “Appellants have simply had nothing to do with the State of Delaware” Significanc Extended doctrine of “minimum contacts” to proceedings in rem e SHAREHOLDERS’ DERIVATIVE ACTION: an action in which shareholders sue directors on behalf on the corporation. it only defines the outer bounds of permissible jurisdictional power It is up to the legislature of each state to actually grant the power to its courts to exercise personal jurisdiction. STATUTORY LIMITS ON TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION a.. most (though not all) state long-arm statutes extend this jurisdiction to its constitutional limits under the Due Process Clause “ENUMERATED ACT” LONG-ARM STATUTE: a statute that authorizes a state’s courts to exercise jurisdiction over defendants based on specific types of contact with the forum state. State statutory limits The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment does not actually confer any jurisdiction on state courts. the state legislature might want to reduce the courts’ caseload The reach of a state’s long-arm statute may sometimes exceed its constitutional grasp (e. a long-arm statute that authorized state courts to take jurisdiction in all cases brought by 10 . such a statute does not necessarily convey all of the jurisdiction permissible under the Due Process Clause Why would a state enact an enumerated act long-arm statute instead of granting the courts the full scope of jurisdiction permissible under the Due Process Clause? The first modern long-arm statute used the enumerated act approach.g. through jurisdictional statutes State legislatures are free to grant to their courts the power to exercise personal jurisdiction to the limits of the Due Process Clause or to confer only part of the constitutionally permissible jurisdiction LONG-ARM STATUTE: a statute providing for jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant who has had contacts with the territory where the statute is in effect. the focus in the latter is really on the interest of a person in the property 2. for the benefit of the corporation Situs of the stock: Delaware was the only state that considered stock to be located in the state of incorporation. and many states followed its example. all other states deem stock to be located where the stock certificates are held Court refused to be tied down by “ancient forms”: the distinction between in personam and quasi in rem jurisdiction is artificial. these states are now reluctant to tinker with statutes that have worked for years and have been construed repeatedly by the courts The list of jurisdictionally sufficient acts in enumerated act long-arm statutes provides some guidance to nonresidents about the jurisdictional consequences of their choice to conduct particular activities within the state The enumerated act long-arm statutes give courts some leeway to reject jurisdiction in cases having little connection to the state.
even though state court would otherwise be a more appropriate forum 3. it will proceed with the case 11 . plaintiffs will have a choice of state or federal court because both systems have subject matter jurisdiction over the suit If the reach of territorial jurisdiction were generally broader in federal court. the defendant litigates the jurisdictional question without submitting to jurisdiction by the very act of appearing before the court If the court concludes: there is no basis to exercise jurisdiction. the territorial jurisdiction of federal courts is primarily tied to the rules of territorial jurisdiction of state courts By generally confining the reach of territorial jurisdiction in the federal court to that of the state courts of the same state. the Rules eliminate a potential ground for “forum shopping” In many cases. Challenging Jurisdiction in the Rendering State (“Direct Attack”) The defendant’s first option is to appear in the original action at the beginning of the suit and object to the court’s exercise of jurisdiction over her The objection to jurisdiction must be raised immediately or be lost: A defendant who answers on the merits and later concludes that personal jurisdiction is lacking will have waived the objection by failing to raise it at the outset In some states.Procedure resident plaintiffs would be unconstitutional as applied to a case in which a nonresident defendant lacked minimum contacts with the state) b. Federal statutory limits Congress has the constitutional power to authorize federal district courts to exercise nationwide jurisdiction However. plaintiffs would frequently choose to bring suit there for this reason alone. By raising a challenge in the court in which the original action is brought (a “direct attack” in the rendering state) 2. By raising a challenge in the court in which enforcement of the original judgment is sought (a “collateral attack” in the enforcing state) a. the defendant who objects to jurisdiction files a special appearance SPECIAL APPEARANCE: a defendant’s showing up in court for the sole purpose of contesting the court’s assertion of personal jurisdiction over the defendant. the federal court may exercise territorial jurisdiction only to the extent it could be exercised by the courts of the state in which the federal court sits Thus. under Rule 4(k)(1)(A). it will dismiss the suit there is basis to exercise jurisdiction. federal district courts may only exercise territorial jurisdiction over a defendant “who could be subjected to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state in which the district court is located” In other words. CHALLENGING TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION A defendant has two ways of objecting to the exercise of territorial jurisdiction over him by the courts of another state: 1.
by asserting in the enforcing state’s court that the rendering state’s court lacked personal jurisdiction over her COLLATERAL ATTACK: the defendant challenges the original court’s jurisdiction in the enforcement action rather than directly in the original suit Advantages to a raising a collateral attack: More convenient for the defendant.” she may invoke the enforcing state’s procedures for collecting damages against the defendant Although this entire process is required by the Full Faith and Credit Clause (Art.e. it may be more sympathetic to the defendant’s challenge Disadvantage to raising a collateral attack: By failing to appear in the rendering state. if the defendant loses the suit on the merits.. Sec.e. Constitution. the enforcing state) where the defendant lives or has property and seek a court order from the courts of that state authorizing the sheriff to sell the defendant’s assets to satisfy the judgment The plaintiff can “domesticate the judgment” in the enforcing state in one of two ways: By filing a new action on the judgment in the enforcing state (i.Procedure The defendant may proceed to defend the merits of the suit without waiving her objection to the court’s jurisdictional ruling. it will automatically enforce the rendering court’s default judgment Due to collateral estoppel. 1) of the U.. Challenging Jurisdiction in the Enforcing State (“Collateral Attack”) The defendant’s second option is to ignore the original suit entirely The court in the rendering state will enter a default judgment for the plaintiff the plaintiff will then take her judgment against the defendant to a state (i. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION: the authority of a court to adjudicate a particular type of suit 12 .e. claiming that the trial court’s conclusion that it had personal jurisdiction was wrong b. she may appeal to an appellate court in the rendering state. if the enforcing court concludes that the rendering court had jurisdiction over the defendant. seeking a “judgment on the judgment” By registering a certified copy of the rendering state’s judgment in the enforcing state’s court Once the plaintiff “domesticates the judgment.. the enforcing state may always inquire as to whether the rendering state had jurisdiction in the original action and refuse enforcement if it did not The defendant may oppose enforcement of the rendering state’s action by raising a collateral attack—i. IV. the defendant has waived her defense on the merits.S. who does not have to leave her home state Because the enforcing court is in the defendant’s home state. a defendant may not challenge personal jurisdiction in the enforcement action if she has already done so in the original action B.
. in the territorial jurisdiction context. III. III. but often a federal question case also involves a claim or defense based on state law State courts have exclusive jurisdiction in cases where there is no federal grant of subject matter jurisdiction to the federal courts Rationale behind Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction Federalism The federal courts were not created to displace the preexisting state systems. Sec.g. they have broad subject matter jurisdiction over many types of suits NOTE: when used in the territorial jurisdiction context. usually. that is.g. in which plaintiff and defendant are citizens of diverse states) Concurrent and Exclusive Jurisdiction State courts have concurrent jurisdiction over all cases within the federal judicial power. because the power for them to hear it is granted in Art. Sec..Procedure The basic trial courts of each state are said to exercise “general jurisdiction”. in which plaintiff asserts a claim based on federal law) The identity of the parties (e. whether or not the claim is related to the defendant’s in-state contacts Federal courts are all courts of limited jurisdiction. “diversity” jurisdiction. If the case does fall into one of the categories in Art. 2 of the Constitution? 2. “general jurisdiction” has a different meaning. jurisdiction in such cases is based on diversity of citizenship. has Congress actually conveyed jurisdiction over this type of case in a federal statute? Rationale behind Federal Question Jurisdiction Federal courts are able to hear cases that involve the application and interpretation of federal law: To protect federal law from unsympathetic construction by state courts To allow definitive interpretation of federal law a. “federal question” jurisdiction. 2. but only to provide a federal forum for specific categories of national concern 1. Constitutional Scope of Federal Question Jurisdiction 13 . FEDERAL QUESTION JURISDICTION Every federal subject matter jurisdiction issue involves a two-step analysis: 1. capable of hearing only those disputes for which jurisdiction is specifically conferred by both the Constitution and federal statute Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction either because of: The nature of the law involved (e. it refers to the authority of a state’s courts to hear any claim against a particular defendant. unless Congress has explicitly provided for exclusive jurisdiction for a particular type of claim Federal district courts have concurrent jurisdiction with the state courts over many cases involving state law. Is this case one that constitutionally may be granted to the federal courts.
III. the statutory grant of jurisdiction does not go to the full extent of the jurisdiction authorized by the Constitution b. Chief Justice Marshall held that a case arises under federal law if “the title or right set up by the party. it merely establishes the outer bounds of the subject matter jurisdiction that Congress may confer on them In addition to constitutional authorization for the exercise of federal court jurisdiction. 2. under their Authority” The Supreme Court has long taken an expansive view of the “arising under” language in the Constitution In Osborn v.S. Sec. and sustained by the opposite construction. the Laws of the United States.S. Sec. then. that when a question to which the judicial power of the Union is extended by the constitution. 2 is very broadly construed. the federal courts have interpreted the reach of the statute much more narrowly than the constitutional scope of arising-under jurisdiction The cases consistently hold that §1331 only applies if the plaintiff’s claim requires proof of federal law. 2 of the Constitution? 2. and Treaties made. because the power for them to hear it is granted in Art. Article III does not confer subject matter jurisdiction on the lower federal courts. III. Sec. forms an ingredient of the original cause. although other questions of fact or law may be involved in it” (emphasis added) The bottom line is that the phrase “arising under” in Art. Constitution authorizes federal courts to hear cases “arising under this Constitution. or which shall be made. If the case does fall into one of the categories in Art.S. there must also be statutory implementation of that authorization. has Congress actually conveyed jurisdiction over this type of case in a federal statute? Rationale behind Diversity Jurisdiction 14 . Sec. It is probably satisfied in any case in which a party seeks to rely on or establish a proposition of federal law in order to prove either a claim or defense in the case However. it is in the power of Congress to give [the lower federal courts] jurisdiction of that cause. 738 (1824). may be defeated by one construction of the constitution or law of the United States.C. Statutory Scope of Federal Question Jurisdiction Even though 28 U. Is this case one that constitutionally may be granted to the federal courts. We think. Bank of the United States. in almost all instances. DIVERSITY JURISDICTION Every federal subject matter jurisdiction issue involves a two-step analysis: 1.Procedure Article III. 2 of the U. 2. III. 22 U. Sec. §1331 grants jurisdiction in the same language as Article III. The statute does not confer jurisdiction on the federal district courts over cases that involve federal law unless the federal issue is necessary to the proof of the plaintiff’s claim 2.
Procedure The Framers’ apparent reason for singling out diversity cases for federal jurisdiction was a fear that out-of-state citizens would suffer prejudice if they were forced to litigate against local citizens in the local state courts 15 .
the requirement would still be met 28 U.S. described in Art. there is a presumption against the existence of subject matter jurisdiction.S. Constitutional Scope of Diversity Jurisdiction One of the major categories of cases that the Framers authorized federal courts to hear is the so-called diversity jurisdiction. III.Procedure a. human beings). 2 in two ways: 28 U. even if the plaintiff eventually recovers $75. of the Art. the party invoking federal subject matter jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that it exists 16 . Constitution as cases “between citizens of different states” The Constitution demands neither “complete diversity” nor a specific “amount in controversy” In addition to constitutional authorization for the exercise of federal court jurisdiction.C.e. unless it “appear[s] to a legal certainty that the claim is really for less”.C.000 Except in cases of supplemental jurisdiction.e. the courts have equated state citizenship for diversity purposes with the common law concept of domicile.S. there must also be statutory implementation of that authorization. CHALLENGING SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION The existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction may be challenged at any time during the litigation of the case (see Kroger) Want of subject matter jurisdiction cannot be cured by conduct or neglect of the parties In the federal courts. Sec.. III. Statutory Scope of Diversity Jurisdiction Congress has granted to the federal courts some.. §1332 includes an amount-in-controversy requirement of $75. each plaintiff must have a colorable claim for more than $75.000 is sufficient to meet the amount-in-controversy requirement. the person has no definite intent to leave at a particular time or upon the occurrence of a particular event) Corporations are citizens for diversity purposes of both the state where their principal place of business is located and the state where they are incorporated 3.. 2 diversity jurisdiction The statutory grant of diversity jurisdiction in 28 U. Sec. all plaintiffs in a suit must be from different states than all defendants at the time the suit is brought) For natural persons (i.000 against each defendant A plaintiff’s good-faith claim for more than $75. but not all. the statutory grant of jurisdiction does not go to the full extent of the jurisdiction authorized by the Constitution b.C. III.000 or less.S. §1332 is narrower than that which is permissible under Art.e. 2 of the U. §1332 requires “complete diversity” between the parties (i. which is defined as the state where a person has taken up residence with the intent to reside indefinitely (i. in almost all instances. Sec.
Forum non conveniens may be invoked on the defendant’s motion or on the court’s own motion 2. §1391. where the alternative forum is a court in a different state. VENUE. problems of judgment enforcement Public factors: which sovereign’s law will apply. courts among the several of the sovereign’s courts that have constitutional authority—or conceivably to oust them all of authority The federal venue statute. FORUM NON CONVENIENS Forum non conveniens allows a court discretionarily to decline existing authority to adjudicate if the court is a seriously inappropriate forum and if a substantially more appropriate forum is available to the plaintiff Forum non conveniens arises most often in state court. like personal jurisdiction.Procedure C. but the interests of both the private parties and the public for and against litigating elsewhere also enter the balance. the alternative forum is a foreign court Important precepts of the doctrine of forum non conveniens: 1. Appellate courts subject the trial court’s decision on dismissal only to deferential review Should federal courts follow the law of forum non conveniens of the states in which they sit. but must tilt strongly in that direction Private factors: residence of the parties. basically requires in most cases that the defendants be sued in a district where they reside or where important events relevant to the suit took place Venue. relative burdens on the court system from hearing the case. In passing on the motion. is considered a personal privilege of the defendant.C. or should they follow their own independent federal law of forum non conveniens? 17 . relative ease of access to sources of proof. and presumably appropriate. either outright or conditional upon defendant’s waiving defenses (such as personal jurisdiction or the statute of limitations) that would impede suit in the more appropriate forum 4. the remedy is ultimately dismissal. when it arises in federal court. VENUE Venue concerns the subconstitutional doctrines that work to site litigation in particular. especially when the plaintiff is a local. 1. If the court grants the motion. the court gives the plaintiff’s choice of forum great deference. For dismissal. the balance of other factors must not merely tilt toward the alternative forum.S. ETC. 28 U. which may be waived Rationale for Venue Provisions Federal venue provisions assure some reasonable connection between the court where suit may be brought and the suit itself They are also meant to further restrict the places where the plaintiff may choose to bring suit 2. and the benefits to the polity from deciding the case 3.
Reyno.Procedure The now-standard answer in the lower federal courts is that federal forum non conveniens law is applicable irrespective of any differences from the law of the state in which the federal court sits Piper Aircraft Co. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. where petitioners’ motion to dismiss on the ground of forum non conveniens was denied Facts A small commercial aircraft manufactured by Piper Aircraft Co.S. 235 (1981) Posture Appeal from the U. were killed Reyno (respondent/plaintiff) was appointed administratrix of the estates of the 5 passengers by a California probate court Reyno commenced wrongful death actions against Piper in the Superior Court of California.S. such showing being generally easier to make than the court of appeals imagined Reasoning Opinion by Marshall “The possibility of change in substantive law should ordinarily not be given conclusive or even substantial weight in the forum non conveniens inquiry” Convenience: “[B]y holding that the central focus of the forum non conveniens inquiry is convenience.S. where Piper manufactured the plane Hartzell and Piper moved to dismiss the action on the ground of forum non conveniens District Court granted dismissal. Inc. bar dismissal on the ground of forum non conveniens The showing to get dismissal in the district court was sufficient. . and where plaintiff is unable to offer any specific reasons of convenience supporting his choice” Flexibility: “[This Court’s earlier forum non conveniens decisions] have repeatedly emphasized the need to retain flexibility. (petitioners/defendants) crashed in the Scottish highlands Pilot and 5 passengers. dismissal will ordinarily be appropriate where trial in the plaintiff’s chosen forum imposes a heavy burden on the defendant or the court.S. . has more favorable products liability law than Scotland Piper removed the suit on the basis of diversity to the U. If central emphasis were placed on any one factor [like an unfavorable change in law]. the forum non conveniens doctrine would lose much of the very flexibility that makes it so valuable” Justice: “We do not hold that the possibility of an unfavorable change in law 18 . Gilbert implicitly recognized that dismissal may not be barred solely because of the possibility of an unfavorable change in law. District Court for the Central District of California Piper transferred the suit to the U.S. all Scottish citizens. conditioning it on Piper’s and Hartzell’s waiving any personal jurisdiction or statute of limitations defenses in Scotland Issue Whether dismissal is automatically barred where the law of the alternative forum is less favorable to the plaintiff than the law of the forum chosen by the plaintiff Whether the district court had abused its discretion in balancing the factors Holding The possibility of an unfavorable change in law should not. by itself. v. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. and Hartzell Propeller. Under Gilbert. admitting that U. 454 U. .
as it was in Piper.C. the defendant’s entire suit is removed. but also any related claims that the federal court has the power to hear under supplemental jurisdiction Removal is a one-way street: a defendant who is properly sued in federal court cannot remove to state court Rationale for Removal The principle of fairness Defendants as well as plaintiffs should have the option to choose federal court for cases within the federal jurisdiction—that jurisdiction is intended to protect both parties. since he is from the forum state) Removal from state court can only be made to one place: the federal district court in whose district the state court sits When the defendant properly removes a suit to federal court. including not only the specific claim that gives rise to removal jurisdiction. therefore. the unfavorable change in law may be given substantial weight. the proper motion is for transfer to another federal district court 3. authorized by 28 U. REMOVAL REMOVAL: suit moved from state court to federal court by defendant.S. if the remedy provided by the alternative forum is so clearly inadequate or unsatisfactory that it is no remedy at all. he may not remove on the basis of diversity (the defendant has no need to be protected from local prejudice. Of course. If the alternative forum is in the United States. §1441 Removal is available to the defendant only in cases that the plaintiff could have commenced in federal court But while it is generally true that a defendant cannot remove case if the federal court would not have had original jurisdiction over it. and. the district court may conclude that dismissal would not be in the interests of justice” Dissents by Stevens and Brennan The Court should not have reviewed the lower courts’ application of the discretionary balance in this case because of the limited question on which the Court had granted certiorari Significanc Made doctrine of forum non conveniens largely a doctrine of inconvenience in e which a change in substantive law should not “ordinarily” be given “substantial weight” A motion to dismiss on grounds of forum non conveniens in federal district court is proper only when the alternative forum is a foreign country. some cases are not removable even though the plaintiff could have brought them in federal court originally 1. both parties should have access to it 19 . If a defendant is sued in his home state.Procedure should never be a relevant consideration in a forum non conveniens inquiry.
S. §1404 20 . TRANSFER TRANSFER: suit moved from one district court in within the federal system to another in a different state or district. authorized by 28 U.Procedure 4.C.
counterclaims and crossclaims) against opposing parties 2. once they are properly joined in a lawsuit. separate action (with some exceptions) PERMISSIVE: a counterclaim that need not be asserted to be cognizable.. separate action 3. The defendant may bring in a person not yet a party to the suit who may be liable to her. Authorizes (but does not require) plaintiffs to sue together if (1) they assert claims arising out of the same transaction or occurrence (or series of transactions or occurrences). especially. bring into the suit) new parties against whom she has claims related to the main action 2. the defendant. Unlike Rule 20. JOINDER AND SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION A.e. usually because it does not arise out of the same subject matter as the opposing party’s claim or involves third parties over which the court does not have jurisdiction. if a defendant fails to assert a compulsory counterclaim in the original action. CROSSCLAIM: a claim asserted between codefendants or coplaintiffs in a case and that relates to the subject of the original claim or counterclaim Rule 18: Joinder of Claims 1. permissive counterclaims may be brought in a later. Provides that a party seeking relief from an opposing party may join with his original claim any additional claims he has against that opposing party 2. Rule 18 does not contain a common transaction or occurrence requirement Rule 14: Impleader Claims/Third-Party Complaints 1.Procedure II. and (2) their claims against the defendant(s) will involve a common question of law or fact 2. that claim may not be brought in a later.. JOINDER SCOPE OF THE LAWSUIT: who is sued and which claims are asserted The permissible scope of a lawsuit is governed by rules of joinder Rules of Joinder in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 20: Joinder of Parties 1. Authorizes parties. to assert additional claims (i. usually because it relates to the opposing party’s claim and arises out of the same subject matter. COUNTERCLAIM: a claim for relief asserted against an opposing party after an original claim has been made. Gives a defendant a limited right to implead (i. a defendant’s claim in opposition to or as a setoff against the plaintiff’s claim COMPULSORY: a counterclaim that must be asserted to be cognizable. for all or part of any recovery the plaintiff obtains on the main claim 21 . Authorizes (but does not require) the plaintiff to sue multiple defendants in a single action if the same criteria are met Rule 13: Counterclaims and Crossclaims 1.e.
or between existing and new parties. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORIZATION OF SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION 22 . III. Congress has often authorized supplemental jurisdiction SUPPLEMENTAL JURISIDICTION: jurisdiction over claims brought between existing parties. Sec. for which there is no federal subject matter jurisdiction if those claims are considered independently FREESTANDING CLAIM: a claim over which there is an independent basis for subject matter jurisdiction SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM: a claim over which there is no independent basis for jurisdiction in the district court Rationale for Supplemental Jurisdiction Efficiency 1. alleging that the third party may be liable for some or all of the damages that the plaintiff is trying to recover from the defendant B. rather than repeatedly in separate suits 2. SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION Joinder vs. Is there constitutional power under Art. the need for subject matter jurisdiction provides an implicit limitation on joinder in every case Where there is no independent federal subject matter jurisdiction over a claim. When a number of claims involve a single transaction or occurrence. and the same issue or issues will have to be litigated to resolve each claim. The modern notion of judicial efficiency is that a court should resolve as much as reasonably possible in a single proceeding Consistency 1. it is more efficient to litigate those issues once in a combined action.Procedure 3. Resolving issues in a single action avoids the possibility of inconsistent judgments on the same issue Every supplemental jurisdiction issue involves a two-step analysis: 1. Jurisdiction A particular suit is proper only if both the joinder rules and the jurisdictional requirements are met Permission under the joinder rules to assert a claim. Is there a statutory grant of jurisdiction over the supplemental claim? 1. is not sufficient to allow the court to hear it: the court must always have subject matter jurisdiction over a claim if it is to proceed While the Court has broadly authorized joinder of claims and parties under the Federal Rules. while necessary. THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT: a complaint filed by the defendant against a third party. 2 to hear the supplemental claim? (Is there a “common nucleus of operative facts”?) 2.
STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION OF SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION Brief History Historically. 490 U. 427 U..S. Gibbs. a federal court’s federal-question jurisdiction over the federal claim gives it discretionary power to hear the related state claim.S. not just the claim that is expressly provided for in Art. when a plaintiff asserts both a federal claim and a related state-law claim. the court has constitutional power to hear the entire dispute between the parties. 437 U. v. International Paper Co. Sec. so long as a the plaintiff asserts a proper claim based on federal law. the Court rejected pendent-party jurisdiction where plaintiff asserted only state-law claims against an additional defendant In Kroger. even though the parties were not diverse The Court rationalized this conclusion on the ground that Art. III. the federal court has at least the constitutional power to hear other claims arising out of the same “case”—that is. the Court rejected ancillary jurisdiction over a related claim asserted by the plaintiff against a nondiverse third-party defendant In Finley. Owen Equipment & Erection Co. and Finley v. 291 (1973).S. III. 1 (1976). the argument goes. 715 (1966). 383 U. the decision implicitly rejected pendent-party jurisdiction over additional parties who did not independently qualify for diversity jurisdiction 23 . 2 Thus. Howard. the Court allowed the federal court to exercise pendent jurisdiction over a state-law claim that was related to a federal-law claim. Kroger. III grants jurisdiction over entire “cases” and “controversies.Procedure In United Mine Workers v. diversity. even absent the diversity jurisdiction normally needed to allow federal adjudication of claims based on state law PENDENT-PARTY JURISDICTION: jurisdiction over (otherwise jurisdictionally insufficient) claims brought by the plaintiff against additional parties ANCILLARY JURISDICTION: jurisdiction over additional claims brought by existing parties other than the plaintiff (usually the defendant) after the initial complaint In Aldinger v.” not just over particular claims or issues If a “case” includes a claim that is jurisdictionally proper under Art.S. two doctrines evolved to support supplemental jurisdiction PENDENT JURISDICTION PENDENT-CLAIM JURISDICTION: jurisdiction over additional (otherwise jurisdictionally insufficient) claims brought by the same plaintiff against the same defendant. nondiverse defendants In Zahn v. the same “common nucleus of operative facts” 2.S. 365 (1978). 414 U. the Court interpreted federal statutes narrowly to limit supplemental jurisdiction In Aldinger. or some other federal ground. the Court held that the Federal Tort Claims Act (which gives federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over any suit brought under it) did not authorize pendent-party jurisdiction over non-federal. 545 (1989). the Court held that each plaintiff in a diversity-based class action in federal court must satisfy the jurisdictional amount in controversy. United States.
S. respondent) filed a wrongful-death action against the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD. Yet the identical lawsuit resulted when she amended her complaint” Risk of collusion: plaintiff could initially sue only a diverse defendant and then 24 . a citizen of both Nebraska and Iowa) as a third-party defendant.S.and state-law claims against a single defendant in one action” “The relevant statute in this case. the plaintiff may assert a claim against a third-party defendant when there is no independent basis for federal jurisdiction over that claim Holding Federal court lacked jurisdiction to hear Mrs. District Court for the District of Nebraska granted OPPD’s motion for summary judgment Case went to trial between Kroger and Owen On 3rd day of trial. § 1332(a)(1). . 365 (1978) Posture Appeal from the U. since citizens of Iowa would have been on both sides of the litigation.’ This statute and its predecessors have consistently been held to require complete diversity of citizenship. (petitioner.S. and is between . which concerns the resolution of a plaintiff’s federal. . Owen was a citizen of both Nebraska and Iowa Owen moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction Issue Whether. Kroger. alleging that the crane was owned and operated by Owen. alleging that OPPD’s negligent construction.C. 28 U. citizens of different States. OPPD sought to be indemnified by Owen for any damages OPPD might be required to pay Kroger OPPD moved for summary judgment on Kroger’s claim Kroger filed an amended complaint naming Owen as an additional defendant U. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. . and operation of the power line had caused Kroger’s death OPPD then impleaded Owen Equipment & Erection Co. maintenance. since both are citizens of Iowa” “The Gibbs case differed from this one in that it involved pendent jurisdiction. where petitioner’s motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction was denied Facts James Kroger was electrocuted when the boom of a steel crane next to which he was walking came too close to a power line Mrs.Procedure Owen Equipment & Erection Co. Kroger’s claim against Owen.000 . Kroger (an Iowa citizen. That is.S. confers upon federal courts jurisdiction over ‘civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $10. . and that Owen’s negligence had been the proximate cause of Kroger’s death. a nondiverse party Reasoning Opinion by Stewart “It is undisputed that there was no independent basis of federal jurisdiction over the respondent’s state-law tort action against the petitioner. diversity jurisdiction does not exist unless each defendant is a citizen of a different State from each plaintiff” “Thus it is clear that the respondent could not originally have brought suit in federal court naming Owen and OPPD as codefendants. in an action in which federal jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship. it was disclosed that Owen’s principal place of business was in Iowa. v. a Nebraska citizen). 437 U.
C. and fairness to the litigants—the factors relied upon in Gibbs—support the recognition of ancillary jurisdiction here” Significanc Announced a statutory limit on supplemental jurisdiction in the face of competing e considerations of judicial efficiency When the freestanding claim is brought under diversity jurisdiction.S.” no logical dependence of claims: “The respondent’s claim against the petitioner . broad supplemental jurisdiction facilitates the core business of the federal courts of adjudicating cases involving questions of federal law in an effective and efficient way 25 . convenience. it was a new and independent one” Plaintiff chose federal forum: “A plaintiff cannot complain if ancillary jurisdiction does not encompass all of his possible claims in a case such as this one.S. was entirely separate from her original claim against OPPD. §1367. no matter how entwined it is with the matter already before the court. Congress enacted 28 U.” Dissent by White Common nucleus of operative facts: “[T]he majority goes on to hold that in diversity suits federal courts do not have the jurisdictional power to entertain a claim asserted by a plaintiff against a third-party defendant. and to authorize a somewhat narrower supplemental jurisdiction over claims combined with state-law claims brought under diversity jurisdiction (overturning Zahn (see Exxon). considerations of judicial economy. the fact that he could not have originally sued that party in federal court should be irrelevant” Judicial efficiency: “Because in the instant case Mrs. not plaintiff. §1367: Supplemental Jurisdiction In 1990. unless there is an independent basis for jurisdiction over that claim” Defendant. Kroger merely sought to assert a claim against someone already a party to the suit. the requirement of complete diversity of citizenship extends to the supplemental claim (between the plaintiff and the third-party defendant) 28 U. conferring “supplemental jurisdiction” on the federal courts Effect of statute is to authorize broad supplemental jurisdiction (to the extent allowed in the Constitution) over claims combined with claims under federal question jurisdiction (overturning Finley).Procedure add an initially forbidden claim against a nondiverse defendant once the latter was predictably joined as a third-party defendant Despite “common nucleus of operative facts. pursuant to a recommendation by the Federal Courts Study Committee.C. Far from being an ancillary and dependent claim. . since the petitioner’s liability to her depended not at all upon whether or not OPPD was also liable. but preserving Kroger) Why does the statute distinguish between federal question and diversity cases? In federal question cases. since it is he who has chosen the federal rather than the state forum and must thus accept its limitations” “[N]either the convenience of litigants not considerations of judicial economy can suffice to justify extension of the doctrine of ancillary jurisdiction to a plaintiff's cause of action against a citizen of the same State in a diversity case. . chose to bring in Owen: “Since the plaintiff has no control over the defendant’s decision to implead a third party.
if the case involves complex questions of state law. supplemental jurisdiction is restricted as a way of conserving the resources of the federal courts. Inc.. 28 U. § 1367(a) permits the joinder of related claims cut 26 . and of encouraging litigants to take such disputes to state courts Federal courts retain the discretion to grant or deny supplemental jurisdiction. and there are no other relevant jurisdictional defects. has original jurisdiction over that claim” “Once the court determines it has original jurisdiction over the civil action. with no distinction drawn between pendent-claim and pendent-party cases” No exception for Rule 20 plaintiffs: “While § 1367(b) qualifies the broad rule of § 1367(a). Allapattah Services. (appellant). Ct. even if those claims are for less than the jurisdictional amount specified in the statute setting forth the requirements for diversity jurisdiction Reasoning Opinion by Kennedy “When the well-pleaded complaint contains at least one claim that satisfies the amount-in-controversy requirement. alleging that Exxon was intentionally and systematically overcharging them for fuel Some of the dealers did not meet the jurisdictional minimum amount in controversy ($75. judge should decline to authorize supplemental jurisdiction) Exxon Mobil Corp..S. 1241 (2005) Posture Appeal from the U. but the presence of a claim that falls short of the minimum amount in controversy does nothing to reduce the importance of the claims that do meet this requirement” Dissent by Ginsburg “Under the majority’s reading. provided the claims are part of the same case or controversy as the claims of plaintiffs who do allege a sufficient amount in controversy Holding Where the other elements of jurisdiction are present and at least one named plaintiff in the action satisfies the amount-in-controversy requirement. 125 S.Procedure In diversity of citizenship cases.000 Exxon dealers (appellee) filed a class-action suit against Exxon Mobil Corp. it does not withdraw supplemental jurisdiction over the claims of the additional parties at issue here” No contamination: “The presence of a single nondiverse party may eliminate the fear of bias with respect to all claims. §1367(c) gives federal judges a checklist to guide their discretion in authorizing supplemental jurisdiction (e. it can turn to the question whether it has a constitutional and statutory basis for exercising supplemental jurisdiction over the other claims in the action” “§ 1367(a) is a broad jurisdictional grant. v. §1367 does authorize supplemental jurisdiction over the claims of other plaintiffs in the same Article III case or controversy.000) Issue Whether a federal court in a diversity action may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over additional plaintiffs whose claims do not satisfy the minimum amount-in-controversy requirement. the district court.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.C. where supplemental jurisdiction was upheld Facts 10. beyond all question.g.
representative parties 27 . Only the claims specified in § 1367(b) would be excluded from § 1367(a)’s expansion of § 1332’s grant of diversity jurisdiction. but only for named. authorizing them to hear cases in which only one plaintiff satisfies the amount-in-controversy requirement In class action suits. the Court concludes. who do not independently meet the amount-incontroversy requirement” “[I]f one recognizes that the nonaggregation rule delineated in Clark and Zahn forms part of the determination whether ‘original jurisdiction’ exists in a diversity case. then plaintiffs who do not meet the amount-in-controversy requirement would fail at the § 1367(a) threshold” Significanc Overruled Zahn e Expanded the supplemental jurisdiction of the federal courts. or inclusion of class members. and supplemental jurisdiction does not open the way for joinder of plaintiffs. then Clark and Zahn are preserved.Procedure loose from the nonaggregation rule that has long attended actions under § 1332. as the statute’s text suggests. that the district court must first have ‘original jurisdiction’ over a ‘civil action’ before supplemental jurisdiction can attach. complete diversity remains a requirement. And because § 1367(b) contains no exception for joinder of plaintiffs under Rule 20 or class actions under Rule 23. Clark and Zahn have been overruled” “If one reads § 1367(a) to instruct.
such as marriage. both jurisdiction-conferring and supreme GENERAL LAW: a general common law. shall be regarded as rules of decision in trials at common law in the courts of the United States in cases where they apply. treaties or statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or provide. based on the Constitution. to ignore state court rulings—in determining what legal rules and principles they should apply 28 . Section 34 of the Judiciary Act of 1789: And be it further enacted That the laws of the several states. § 1652.C. I. inheritance. Constitution. statutes. Tyson.” not state judicial decisions that applied “general” principles of commercial law In Story’s view. from federal courts. they are unrestricted by Section 34 and free to exercise their own “independent judgment”—that is.Procedure III. the federal court should examine all common law authorities—including cases from the state in which it sat. under Art. English courts. and negotiable instruments Not jurisdiction-conferring: to the extent that the federal courts heard cases involving questions of general law. Swift v. and “long-established local customs having the force of law. Congress has no legislative power to create the governing law in diversity cases Domestic Law at the Time of Swift FEDERAL LAW: the law of the national government. the Court ruled that the word “laws” in the Rules of Decision Act referred only to “strictly local” rules—state constitutions. non-general law Covered particular subject areas to which the general law did not extend. from other states. 1 (1842) In an opinion by Justice Story. ASCERTAINING THE APPLICABLE LAW Under Art. insurance. the federal courts have judicial power to hear diversity cases. and real property: in these subject areas. treaties. applied more or less uniformly by all civil courts. except where the constitution. however. rather than to follow a rule that some other judge deemed to be the right one When federal courts hear cases presenting issues of “general” commercial law.S.S. III of the U. 41 U.S. or statutes. 28 U. Story believed. was the same as that of any other common law judge: to choose the right rule of consideration. federal courts routinely followed the local law of the states in which they sat Also included particular rules of commercial law where the state had clearly departed from the uniform rule of the general law: Swift said federal courts were not obliged to follow local law in such instances Rules of Decision Act. and the view of respected commentators—to ascertain the proper rule. The federal judge’s job. their jurisdiction was based on diversity of citizenship or admiralty Not supreme: state courts were not obliged to follow it STATE/LOCAL LAW: non-federal. federal and state Originally covered commercial subjects like contracts.
v.” and apply the proper ones to each new fact situation that arose Justice Story sought to strengthen the independence and authority of the federal courts and to use those federal courts to create a uniform national commercial law that would encourage and facilitate commerce between the states Between Swift and Erie As part of its general expansion of federal judicial power. unwritten as well as written” Experience in applying the doctrine of Swift had revealed its practical defects: “Persistence of state courts in their own opinions on questions of common law prevented uniformity. in all matters except those in which some federal law is controlling. and the function of judges was to find. Tompkins (Pennsylvania citizen. Tompkins. the Court began expanding the scope of the “general” law. which held railroads liable for only “wanton and willful” negligence against trespassers Tompkins contended that Erie’s liability should be determined in accordance with “general” law Issue Whether the federal court is free to disregard the alleged rule of the Pennsylvania common law Holding The federal court is constitutionally bound to follow the alleged rule of state common law Reasoning Opinion by Brandeis Swift v. especially tort victims and policyholders claiming benefits under insurance contracts National corporations were considered noncitizens in every state but the one that had chartered them. when they were sued. petitioner) Erie contended that its liability should be determined in accordance with Pennsylvania common law. where judgment in favor of Tompkins was affirmed Facts While walking on a footpath along the railroad tracks. in which the common law grew from general principles of right and reason that existed independent of judicial decisions. (New York citizen. the federal courts exercising jurisdiction in diversity of citizenship cases would apply as their rules of decision the law of the state. By the early twentieth century the “general” law covered most common-law areas and seemed poised for further expansions at the slightest opportunity The Court also used the Swift doctrine to enforce rules that increasingly favored corporations in their disputes with ordinary individuals. Tyson misinterpreted the Rules of Decision Act: “[T]he purpose of the section was merely to make certain that. Tyson 29 .Procedure Embraced “declaratory” theory of law. 64 (1938) Posture Appeal from Court of Appeals. 304 U. respondent) was struck by an open door of a passing freight train of the Erie Railroad Co. they could often remove the suits to the local federal court Erie Railroad Co. and the impossibility of discovering a satisfactory line of demarcation between the province of general law and that of local law developed a new well of uncertainties” Swift had led to discrimination in the administration of justice: “Swift v.S. “declare.
the question of whether the responsibility of the railroad to Tompkins was governed by local or general law. We merely declare that in applying the doctrine this Court and the lower courts have invaded rights which in our opinion are reserved by the Constitution to the several states” Concurrence by Reed “To decide the case now before us and to ‘disapprove’ the doctrine of Swift v. Tyson and the general law 30 .’ instead of merely erroneous” “I am not at all sure whether. Tyson requires only that we say that the words ‘the laws’ include in their meaning the decisions of the local tribunals. Congress has no power to declare substantive rules of common law applicable in a state whether they be local in their nature or ‘general. And whether the law of the state shall be declared by its legislature in a statute or by its highest court in a decision is not a matter of federal concern” “In disapproving that doctrine [of Swift] we do not hold unconstitutional section 34 of the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789 or any other act of Congress. for big business had been the prime beneficiary of the regime of Swift v. And no clause in the Constitution purports to confer such a power upon the federal courts” Swift is overruled: “Except in matters governed by the Federal Constitution or by acts of Congress. As the majority opinion shows . the doctrine rendered impossible equal protection of the law” Swift authorized federal judges to make law in areas in which the federal government had no delegated powers: “There is no federal general common law.Procedure introduced grave discrimination by noncitizens against citizens. Thus. The line between procedural and substantive law is hazy. that this Court is now of the view that ‘laws’ includes ‘decisions. and argument before the Supreme Court had been limited to. to interpret the Constitution” Significanc Overruled Swift e Eliminated the federal “general” common law Gave rise to the Erie doctrine Review had been granted to determine. . rather than. the law to be applied in any case is the law of the state. and the privilege of selecting the court in which the right should be determined was conferred upon the noncitizen. federal courts would be compelled to follow state decisions. If the opinion commits this Court to the position that the Congress is without power to declare what rules of substantive law shall govern the federal courts. Pennsylvania) law governed the dispute.e. that conclusion also seems questionable. . That the parties should have been so aligned was unusual. . but no one doubts federal power over procedure” “It seems preferable to overturn an established construction of an act of Congress. and Tompkins argued that the general law governed. .. The railroad argued that the local (i. in the circumstances of this case. in the absence of federal statutory direction.’ be they commercial law or a part of the law of torts. It made rights enjoyed under the unwritten ‘general law’ vary according to whether enforcement was sought in the state or in the federal court. .’ it is unnecessary to go further and declare that the ‘course pursued’ was ‘unconstitutional.
federal courts must look to state law to define terms (such as “children”) that appear in federal law 31 . state law that the federal courts were obliged to follow. nor was he arguing that Congress should be barred from legislating in any particular area. there are only two—federal and state.” their job in a diversity case is to apply state common law Note. that the Erie doctrine is not limited to diversity cases. federal courts must apply the substantive law that would be applied by the courts of the state in which they sit. by not allowing an out-of-state plaintiff to choose a different rule of substantive law because he could choose federal court To serve the principle of federalism. and state. Tyson. by limiting national judicial power To serve the principle of separation of powers. by requiring the same substantive law to apply in federal diversity cases and cases that were brought in state courts To prevent forum-shopping and discrimination. however. and became. there were three categories of domestic law—federal. Under Erie. state judgemade rules were every bit as binding on the federal courts as were statutory provisions Brandeis was not asserting any new restriction on the powers of Congress. for purposes of the Rules Enabling Act. where the Constitution did not control and Congress could not legislate. it is necessarily state The Erie Doctrine’s Constitutional Basis Brandeis’s constitutional argument: The Constitution made Congress the lawmaking branch of the national government and delegated to it the legislative powers of that government The Constitution made the federal judiciary the law-applying branch of that national government If Congress could not make law in a particular area. by preserving the lawmaking primacy of Congress Applying the Erie Doctrine The basic Erie doctrine: In diversity cases. rather than create “general common law. it made no difference which institution of state government made the law Thus. Erie held only that the federal courts were barred from making rules of law in an area if Congress was not authorized to make law in that same area Erie did not imply that the Tenth Amendment created an independent and substantive limit on federal powers but only that it stated the tautological principle that any powers not granted to the federal government remained with the states or the people Rationale for the Erie Doctrine To create uniformity. If a domestic law is not federal. and no other law existed or could apply but state law If state law applied.Procedure Under Swift v. and where state law governed. general. neither then could the federal courts. even in federal question cases. the laws of the states necessarily governed. Two previous categories of substantive law—general and local—were collapsed into one.
Hanna. I. 8 and Art. federal judges should give “proper regard” to decisions of trial and intermediate appellate courts. Sec. specifically the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Valid if “rationally capable of classification” as procedural and if do not “abridge. four years before Erie. and to make laws “necessary and proper” for exercising that power (Art. Congress moved in precisely the opposite direction on matters of procedural law In 1934. the same year Erie was decided.) All remaining federal rules. I. Federal rules promulgated under the Rules Enabling Act.S. Congress enacted the Rules Enabling Act. and apply the law as it would be announced by the state’s highest court Federal judges can also certify the issue to the state’s highest court. Which state’s law should control in suits involving connections to different states? State courts have not opted to apply their own substantive law in all cases 32 . 1). 380 U.Procedure How do federal judges decide what state law is? Federal judges should look first to the decisions of the state’s highest court If no decision of the state’s highest court is on point. which are judge-made Valid if application of the rule is not “outcome determinative” in the sense that it would not encourage forum-shopping or cause an “inequitable” administration of the laws. procedure) The problem: The Constitution grants Congress the power to establish lower federal courts (Art. Congress has constitutional authority to make federal procedural rules. when a federal judge certifies the issue. Hanna v. (Very few rules have actually been invalidated. even for diversity cases As the Supreme Court moved in Erie to require the federal courts to conform their decisions to those of the states on matters of substantive law. authorizing the adoption of a uniform system of procedural rules for civil cases in the federal courts In 1938. Plumer. which then issues an opinion resolving the issue Which issues are governed by the Erie doctrine? (substance vs. or modify” a substantive right under the terms of the Rules Enabling Act. 460 (1965). enlarge. Sec. III. 8) Thus. Sec. a statement of the issue and the relevant facts is sent to the state’s highest court. the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were adopted How do federal judges determine which federal rules are “procedural” and thus valid? The current doctrine teaches us to determine whether rules are “procedural” by dividing them into 3 categories and then directing a series of questions to the rules in each category Federal rules mandated by federal statutes Valid if “rationally capable of classification” as procedural.
the federal court must apply whichever state’s law the forum state court would apply. 313 U. 487 (1941). furthermore. the federal district court in Delaware should have followed Delaware’s interpretation of New York law Federal Common Law FEDERAL COMMON LAW: the body of decisional law derived from federal courts when adjudicating federal questions and other matters of federal concern The areas in which the federal courts have applied federal common law most frequently include: Admiralty and maritime cases Interstate disputes Proceedings raising matters of international relations Cases concerning the legal relations and proprietary interests of the United States Actions involving gaps in federal statutory provisions 33 . the federal court must follow the forum state’s interpretation of the other state’s law In Klaxon. they have developed “choice of law” rules for deciding when they will apply the law of another state instead In Klaxon v.. Stentor Manufacturing Co. furthermore. the federal district court in Delaware should have followed Delaware choice of law rules. the Court held that the policy underlying Erie mandates the application of the forum state’s choice of law rules as well as its substantive law Under the Klaxon doctrine.Procedure Because state courts do not always apply the law of the state in which they sit. which called for the application of New York law.S.
Central Hanover Bank & Trust. service of process on the defendant within the forum state was the predominant means of obtaining jurisdiction. but today the two are quite distinct. where judgment was entered for respondent Facts New York Banking Law allowed pooling of small trust estates into a common fund for investment administration Accountings of common fund were made 12–15 months after establishment and triennially thereafter Central Hanover Bank & Trust (respondent) established a common trust fund of 113 small trusts. delivered personally to the defendant within the state). and only notice given. notice left at last known home/business address) CONSTRUCTIVE: service accomplished by a method or circumstance that does not give actual notice (e. Thus. 339 U. such as service by mail (e. posting on land..S.g. was by newspaper publication Mullane was appointed attorney for all persons not otherwise appearing who had or might have any interests in the income of the trust fund Issue Whether the notice to beneficiaries on judicial settlement of accounts by the trustee of a common trust fund were inadequate to afford due process under the 14th A Holding Statutory notice sufficient for beneficiaries whose interests or addresses are unknown to the trustee Statutory notice inadequate to beneficiaries whose names and post office addresses are known Reasoning Opinion by Jackson “Without disparaging the usefulness of distinctions between actions in rem and 34 ..g. The two requirements were thus frequently discussed as though they were interchangeable. PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS A. service by publication in a newspaper or other public medium) When Pennoyer was decided. some of whose beneficiaries were not residents of New York Central Hanover filed petition for judicial settlement of its first account as trustee Only notice of settlement required. half inter vivos and half testamentary. under Pennoyer. if service was not made properly (that is.Procedure IV. personal jurisdiction was not obtained. as well as giving notice to the defendant of the suit. 306 (1950) Posture Appeal from the New York Court of Appeals. NOTICE SERVICE OF PROCESS: service of the initial notice to the defendant of the filing of a lawsuit against him Types of service: PERSONAL/ACTUAL: actual delivery of the notice or process to the person to whom it is directed SUBSTITUTED: any method of service allowed by law in place of personal service. and either may be satisfied though the other is not Mullane v.
and the beneficiaries’ rights are extinguished 35 . and we find no tenable ground for dispensing with a serious effort to inform them personally of the accounting. usually members of the settlor’s family. the judge reviews them. at least by ordinary mail to the record addresses” “The statutory notice to known beneficiaries is inadequate. not because in fact it fails to reach everyone. The means employed must be such as one desirous of actually informing the absentee might reasonably adopt to accomplish it. that the form chosen is not substantially less likely to bring home notice than other of the feasible and customary substitutes” “It would be idle to pretend that publication alone as prescribed here. process which is a mere gesture is not due process. . but because under the circumstances it is not reasonably calculated to reach those who could easily be informed by other means at hand” Significanc Disassociated the question of the constitutionality of a method of service of e process from the classification of the underlying cause of action as in personam. liberty or property by adjudication be preceded by notice and opportunity for hearing appropriate to the nature of the case” “[T]he vital interest of the State in bringing any issues as to its fiduciaries to a final settlement” must be balanced against “the individual interest sought to be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment” “[W]hen notice is a person’s due. . where conditions do not reasonably permit such notice.Procedure those in personam . in a way that differs from what the beneficiaries would receive as heirs under the statutes of descent and distribution ACCOUNTING: a process through which the trust company explains its actions. The reasonableness and hence the constitutional validity of any chosen method may be defended on the ground that it is in itself reasonably certain to inform those affected. we do not rest the power of the State to resort to constructive service in this proceeding upon how its courts or this Court may regard this historic antithesis” “Many controversies have raged about the cryptic and abstract words of the Due Process Clause but there can be no doubt that at a minimum they require that deprivation of life. also termed living trust TESTAMENTARY TRUST: a trust that is created by a will and takes effect when the settlor (testator) dies. also termed trust under will FIDUCIARY: a person who is required to act for the benefit of another person on all matters within the scope of their relationship SETTLEMENT: the conveyance of property—or of interests in property—to provide for one or more beneficiaries. is a reliable means of acquainting interested parties of the fact that their rights are before the courts” “The trustee has on its books the names and addresses of the income beneficiaries represented by appellant. or in rem Key terms in Mullane TRUST: a property interest held by one person (the trustee) at the request of another (the settlor) for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary) INTER VIVOS TRUST: a trust that is created and takes effect during the settlor’s lifetime. quasi in rem. or.
the interest of the state and the cost of administration B. counsel as well its uninterrupted provision to those eligible to receive it.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 254 (1970) Posture Appeal from a 3-judge panel of the U. 397 U. or were about to terminate. to abate Because the bank has only limited responsibility for contingent interests (i.S. Therefore notice reasonably certain to reach most of those interested in objecting is likely to safeguard the interests of all. the New York adopted procedures for notice and hearing after the suits were brought. such aid without prior notice and hearing. . where judgment was entered in favor of welfare recipients Facts New York residents (appellees) receiving financial aid under the federally assisted program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or under New York State's general Home Relief program alleged that the New York officials administering these programs terminated. The rights of each in the integrity of the fund and the fidelity of the trustee are shared by many other beneficiaries.e. The individual interest does not stand alone but is identical with that of a class. and the appellees then challenged the constitutional adequacy of those procedures Issue Whether a State that terminates public assistance payments to a particular recipient without affording him the opportunity for an evidentiary hearing prior to termination denies the recipient procedural due process in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Holding The Due Process Clause requires that a welfare recipient be afforded an evidentiary hearing before the termination of benefits Reasoning Opinion by Brennan “The constitutional challenge cannot be answered by an argument that public assistance benefits are ‘a “privilege” and not a “right”’” “The extent to which procedural due process must be afforded the recipient is influenced by the extent to which he may be ‘condemned to suffer grievous loss. the unknown beneficiaries).Procedure TOLL: (of a time period. OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD Goldberg v. Kelly. pre-termination 36 . the interest of the beneficiaries. thereby denying them due process of law At the time the suits were filed there was no requirement of prior notice or hearing of any kind before termination of financial aid However. on the other.. especially a statutory one) to stop the running of. is that termination of aid pending resolution of a controversy over eligibility may deprive an eligible recipient of the very means by which to live while he waits” “The same governmental interests that counsel the provision of welfare. . since any objections sustained would inure to the benefit of all” Jackson’s “reasonableness” test is a cost-benefit analysis: on one side.’ and depends upon whether the recipient’s interest in avoiding that loss outweighs the governmental interest in summary adjudication” “[T]he crucial factor in this context . the Court concluded that it is not worth the costs to find and contact them Why isn’t personal service required for the known beneficiaries? “This type of trust presupposes a large number of small interests.
clearly outweighs the State’s competing concern to prevent any increase in its fiscal and administrative burdens” “[T]he pre-termination hearing need not take the form of a judicial or quasijudicial trial” A recipient must be given “timely and adequate notice detailing the reasons for a proposed termination. Brennan’s majority opinion details the key features of procedural systems—notice. the interest of the eligible recipient in uninterrupted receipt of public assistance. Fair and just outcomes depend on adequate process and offers the framework for what constitutes fair process. to pay money that it does not owe. it will also have insured that many will never get on the rolls. never has owed. and decisionmaking by a third party who is constrained in some respects. Concerns once understood to be mere privileges become recharacterized as predicated on legal rights. just as injuries (such as the breach of a promise to marry) that were once seen as providing cognizable legal claims sometimes shift in their valence and cease to be enforceable rights 2. until after an evidentiary hearing. Causes of action are not comprised of a set of fixed concepts but change over time. and never could owe.Procedure evidentiary hearings are indispensable to that end” “Thus.” “be allowed to state his position orally. or at least that they will remain destitute during the lengthy proceedings followed to determine initial eligibility” Significanc Signaled the emergence of a “new property” that the government could not take e away without “due process” Goldberg teaches 5 lessons: 1. the Court holds that the government is helpless and must continue. exchange of information between disputants in writing or orally hearings. coupled with the State’s interest that his payments not be erroneously terminated. I do not believe there is any provision in our Constitution that should thus paralyze the government's efforts to protect itself against making payments to people who are not entitled to them” “I regret very much to be compelled to say that the Court today makes a drastic and dangerous departure from a Constitution written to control and limit the government and the judges and moves toward a constitution designed to be no more and no less than what the judges of a particular social and economic philosophy declare on the one hand to be fair or on the other hand to be shocking and unconscionable” “While this Court will perhaps have insured that no needy person will be taken off the rolls without a full ‘due process’ proceeding. obliging administrative decisionmakers to fashion their processes closer to the format familiar in courts 37 .” “be given an opportunity to confront and cross-examine the witnesses relied upon by the department. Goldberg is part of a series of cases that resulted in a due process revolution.” and “be allowed to retain an attorney” The decision maker should be “impartial” and “state the reasons for his determination and indicate the evidence he relied on” Dissent by Black “[A]lthough some recipients might be on the lists for payment wholly because of deliberate fraud on their part.
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. By doing so.S. where statute was found unconstitutional Facts DiGiovanni submitted application for an attachment in amount of $75. But Goldberg also sought to inscribe elements of fair process—notice. 319 (1976) The Court held that the Due Process Clause does not require an evidentiary hearing before the termination of Social Security benefits The Court adopted a flexible. nor did DiGiovanni have any pre-existing interest in Doehr’s home 38 .Procedure 3. The private interest that will be affected 2. Further. presumed to be ill-equipped to produce written briefs. Goldberg highlights a major fault line of the adversarial system—that opponents have different resources and capacities. the majority in Goldberg considered the capacities of those using the process. and benefits of both. 424 U. The interest of the party seeking the prejudgment remedy (and/or the interest of the government) Mathews was viewed as a shift from Goldberg’s right-based due process approach to a utilitarian due process approach Connecticut v. that the process varied depending on the kind and nature of the interests at stake. 501 U. itself an essential document in American procedural law 4. 1 (1991) Posture Appeal from the U. Further. The Court reiterated in Goldberg a long-held view of the Due Process Clause.S. establishing remedies. costs.S. The risk of erroneous deprivation through the procedure and the value of alternate safeguards 3. The Goldberg formulation of the values of process remains critical to understanding the aspirations of adjudicatory systems as well as why those aspirations are now contested Mathews v. oral hearings. The ruling paved the way for a small set of indigent litigants in civil cases to be accorded lawyers paid by the state. the Goldberg majority focused on the needs of welfare recipients. Doehr. Goldberg exemplifies a basic problem for all procedural systems—the pull towards trans-substantive process and the competing need to contextualize process to the specifics of the conflicts presented. three-factor balancing test to determine what process is due when a defendant is deprived of “property” before a judgment is handed down: 1. and the decision articulated the tension between formal statements of the right to process and their practical implementation by users with varying capacities to obtain information and argue effectively its relevance and meaning 5. and assessing the values. their debate is illustrative of different approaches to reading the Constitution. suit did not involve Doehr’s real estate. decisions made based on a record and reasons given by an impartial decision maker— that transcended the specifics of any given case. As it imposed requirements for process.000 on Doehr’s home Underlying issue was civil action for assault and battery. Eldridge. The disagreement between the Brennan’s majority opinion and the Black’s dissent exemplifies a basic debate of United States law about the respective roles of courts and legislatures in articulating rights.
on the other hand. In the present case. . and without a requirement that the person seeking the attachment post bond. Plaintiff had no existing interest in Doehr’s real estate when he sought attachment” “[T]he procedures of almost all the States confirm our view that the Connecticut provision before us. the danger that these property rights may be wrongfully deprived remains unacceptably high even with such safeguards as a hearing or exigency requirement” (plurality only) “Reliance on a bond does not sufficiently account for the harms that flow from an erroneous attachment to excuse a State from reducing that risk by means of a timely hearing” (plurality only) “[N]either a hearing nor an extraordinary circumstance limitation eliminates the need for a bond. so that the defendant was deprived of its use. as in Mathews. with.Procedure Connecticut law authorized prejudgment attachment of real estate without prior notice or hearing. an examination of the risk of erroneous deprivation through the procedures under attack and the probable value of additional or alternative safeguards. . without a showing of extraordinary circumstances. without a showing of extraordinary circumstances. therefore. due regard for any ancillary interest the government may have in providing the procedure or forgoing the added burden of providing greater protections” “[T]he property interests that attachment affects are significant” “[T]he risk of erroneous deprivation that the State permits here is substantial”: probable-cause standard is accompanied by a high potential for unwarranted attachment “[T]he interests in favor of an ex parte attachment. satisfies the Due Process Clause of the 14th A Holding Statute does not satisfy Due Process Clause of the 14th A Reasoning Opinion by White “For this type of case. consideration of the private interest that will be affected by the prejudgment measure. by failing to provide a preattachment hearing without at least requiring a showing of some exigent circumstance. principal attention to the interest of the party seeking the prejudgment remedy. the relevant inquiry requires. second. and third. no more than a bond allows waiver of these other protections” (plurality only) Concurrence by Rehnquist “I do not believe that the result follows so inexorably as the Court’s opinion suggests. nonetheless. . which secures an incipient lien for the plaintiff. . clearly falls short of the demands of due process” “Without a bond. at the time of attachment. All of the cited cases dealt with personalty—bank deposits or chattels —and each involved the physical seizure of the property itself. and without a requirement that the person seeking the attachment post bond Connecticut Superior Court found “probable cause” to sustain Doehr’s claim of assault and battery. particularly the interests of the plaintiff. first. does not deprive the defendant of the use or 39 . . are too minimal to supply such a consideration here. and ordered attachment of Doehr’s home Issue Whether a state statute that authorizes prejudgment attachment of real estate without prior notice or hearing. . Connecticut’s prejudgment attachment on real property statute.
recorded in the chain of title to real property. RIGHT TO COUNSEL Lassiter v. 927 (1981) Posture Appeal from the Supreme Court of North Carolina. 2) pre-attachment hearing requirement could backfire on debtors and impede economic growth by causing creditors to reduce the availability of credit or increase its price C. practical effect is to chill buyer interest in property and reduce the property’s marketability Adopting the Mathews balancing test. and that any interests acquired during the pendency of the suit are subject to its outcome. North Carolina. repairing. who was adjudicated a neglected child and placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services (respondent) Subsequently. she did not inform her lawyer about the termination of parental rights proceeding 40 . William. as it does in Part IV.Procedure possession of the property” Present case is also distinguished by lack of interest of plaintiff in the property which he seeks to enforce “It is both unwise and unnecessary. such as a building. of Social Services of Durham County. from its decision of the case before it to discuss abstract and hypothetical situations not before it” Significanc Adopted the Mathews 3-factor balancing test and the “utilitarian”/cost-benefit e approach to due process LIEN: a legal right or interest that a creditor has in another's property. especially during times of crisis. the theory is that in making the improvements. where petitioner’s application for discretionary review was denied Facts Lassiter (petitioner) was the mother of an infant son. I believe. courts have adapted to polycentric (as opposed to bipolar) litigation Amici brief of Connecticut Bankers Association argued: 1) importance of prejudgment real estate attachments to the credit industry. for the Court to proceed. or the like. an automobile. or maintaining real or personal property. the Court determined: (debtor’s interest X risk of error under status quo) > (creditor’s interest – administrative burden of adopting alternate procedures) Aren’t legislatures better than courts in finding the balance of interests? But legislatures might only hear from powerful interests Moreover.S. they have acquired an interest in the property proportional to their contribution LIS PENDENS: notice. the creditor does not take possession of the property on which the lien has been obtained MECHANIC’S LIEN: a statutory lien that secures payment for labor or materials supplied in improving. typically. Dept. Lassiter was incarcerated for a murder conviction The Department petitioned the District Court of Durham County to terminate Lassiter’s parental rights Lassiter was notified that a hearing on her parental rights would be held Although Lassiter had an attorney to represent her in the appeal of her murder conviction. lasting usually until a debt or duty that it secures is satisfied. 453 U. required or permitted in some jurisdictions to warn all persons that certain property is the subject matter of litigation.
he may be deprived of his physical liberty” Applying the Mathews v. Lassiter contended that due process required the State to appoint counsel for her because she was indigent Issue Whether the trial court erred in failing to appoint counsel for Lassiter Holding The trial court did not err in not appointing counsel for Lassiter Reasoning Opinion by Stewart “[T]he Court’s precedents speak with one voice about what ‘fundamental fairness’ has meant when the Court has considered the right to appointed counsel. there is no sound basis for refusing to recognize the right to counsel as a requisite of due process in a proceeding initiated by the State to terminate parental rights” 41 . the State’s interests were at their weakest. in some but not all cases. and the appropriateness of counsel in the specific type of proceeding. . to appellate review” “[W]e hold that the trial court did not err in failing to appoint counsel for Ms. has a possibly stronger interest in informal procedures. . and. We therefore . Eldridge balancing test: “[T]he parent’s interest is an extremely important one (and may be supplemented by the dangers of criminal liability inherent in some termination proceedings). as here. . it could not be said that the Eldridge factors did not overcome the presumption against the right to appointed counsel. and the cost involved is relatively slight. of course. in a given case. and we thus draw from them the presumption that an indigent litigant has a right to appointed counsel only when. and the complexity of the proceeding and the incapacity of the uncounseled parent could be. the State’s role is so clearly adversarial and punitive. great enough to make the risk of an erroneous deprivation of the parent's rights insupportably high” “If. the State shares with the parent an interest in a correct decision. but would not always be. the parent’s interests were at their strongest. . I would abide by the Court’s enduring commitment to examine the relationships among the interests on both sides. and I would find this first portion of the due process balance weighing heavily in favor of refined procedural protections” “[W]here. if he loses. and the risks of error were at their peak. and that due process did not therefore require the appointment of counsel. leave the decision whether due process calls for the appointment of counsel for indigent parents in termination proceedings to be answered in the first instance by the trial court. neither can we say that the Constitution requires the appointment of counsel in every parental termination proceeding. the threatened loss of liberty is severe and absolute. Lassiter” Dissent by Blackmun “Rather than opting for the insensitive presumption that incarceration is the only loss of liberty sufficiently onerous to justify a right to appointed counsel. has a relatively weak pecuniary interest. . The fundamental significance of the liberty interest at stake in a parental termination proceeding is undeniable. subject.Procedure Lassiter represented herself at the proceeding The court terminated Lassiter’s status as William’s parent On appeal. But since the Eldridge factors will not always be so distributed.
not of different litigants within a given context” Significanc Applied Mathews 3-factor balancing test to the issue of the right to appointed e counsel Reaffirmed the general presumption against right to appointed counsel in civil cases. but it also marks a sharp departure from the due process analysis consistently applied heretofore.’ This conclusion is not only illogical. requires case-by-case consideration of different decisionmaking contexts. where physical liberty is often not at issue 42 .’ reasons the Court. the Court has held. The flexibility of due process. the Constitution should not be read to ‘requir[e] the appointment of counsel in every parental termination proceeding.Procedure “Because the three factors ‘will not always be so distributed.
the plaintiff’s response to the defendant’s counterclaim (or. injunction. 355 U. settlement. so that the parties and the court can focus their time and financial resources on the disputed contentions To provide an important record of what was disputed and decided Conley v. an answer usu.S. usually by denying the plaintiff’s allegations.Procedure V. and it is followed by the defendant’s rejoinder Kinds of pleading systems in civil suits: NOTICE: complaint need only provide “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief”. used in the courts of 15 states. by court order. requires somewhat (but usually not a great deal more) than notice pleading.” is characterized by pleading facts rather than legal conclusions. Gibson. in common-law pleading. where the district court’s dismissal of the complaint was affirmed Facts Petitioners were employees of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad at its Houston Freight House Local Union No. the plaintiff’s response to the defendant’s plea or answer. or disposition on a more complete factual record To provide the basis for a prompt and inexpensive resolution of the case at the outset on the ground of legal insufficiency of a claim or defense To disclose matters of fact that are not in dispute. and the demand for relief (Rule 8) ANSWER: a defendant's first pleading that addresses the merits of the case. so as to facilitate informed preparation for discovery. 28 of the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks was the designated bargaining unit for employees The Railroad discharged or demoted 45 black employees. PLEADINGS COMPLAINT: the initial pleading that starts a civil action and states the basis for the court’s jurisdiction. the basis for the plaintiff’s claim. sets forth the defendant's defenses and counterclaims REPLY: in federal practice. filling their jobs with whites The Union did nothing to protect the black employees Petitioners charged that the Union had failed to represent them equally and in good faith as required by the Railway Labor Act of 1926 Petitioners asked for relief in the nature of a declaratory judgment. including California and New York Rationale for Pleadings To provide notice to the other party of the pendency of the action and nature of the pleader’s contentions. PRETRIAL A. 41 (1957) Posture Appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. to the defendant’s or a third party’s answer). used in federal district court and in most state trial courts CODE: also known as “fact pleading. and damages 43 . the reply is the plaintiff’s second pleading.
. of course. the motion addresses a purely legal question 44 . disposing of meritless cases. facilitating preparation. and organizing the course of a trial.” in which the parties and the judge depart from established rules of substantive law Motion to Dismiss The defendant who moves to dismiss “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted” (a Rule 12(b)(6) motion) asserts that even if the plaintiff were to prove all the allegations in the complaint. To the contrary. It must give notice that the plaintiff has a claim. Such simplified ‘notice pleading’ is made possible by the liberal opportunity for discovery and the other pretrial procedures established by the Rules to disclose more precisely the basis of both claim and defense and to define more narrowly the disputed facts and issues” “The Federal Rules reject the approach that pleading is a game of skill in which one misstep by counsel may be decisive to the outcome and accept the principle that the purpose of pleading is to facilitate a proper decision on the merits” Significanc Put an end to “the art of pleading” e Notice was accepted as the purpose of pleading Taken literally. . identifying issues. to be handled through discovery.Procedure Issue Whether the lower courts erred in dismissing the complaint for lack of jurisdiction Holding The lower courts erred in dismissing the complaint for lack of jurisdiction Reasoning Opinion by Black The complaint should not be dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be given: “In appraising the sufficiency of the complaint we follow. but it need not identify the issues likely to be in dispute The functions previously associated with pleadings. Justice Black’s brief discussion of pleading establishes that a complaint is sufficient if it (1) encompasses a legal claim and (2) does not contain allegations that defeat the plaintiff’s claim. and in a flourishing of the “judicial imagination. the accepted rule that a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitled him to relief” The complaint did not need to set forth specific facts to support its general allegations of discrimination: “[T]he Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not require a claimant to set out in detail the facts upon which he bases his claim. in more discovery and drawn-out litigation. summary judgment. she would still not be entitled to any relief The only question posed by the motion is whether the complaint itself states a legally sufficient claim. . assuming that the facts alleged in the complaint are true. as long as the elements are inferable. all the Rules require is ‘a short and plain statement of the claim’ that will give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff’s claim is and the grounds upon which it rests. have been largely shifted to later phases of the civil process. and probably mention some of the circumstances such as the transaction on which the claim is based. such as revealing facts. The complaint need not allege facts that constitute all the substantive elements of a recognized or recognizable legal claim. or pretrial conference Lenient pleading rules may result in more plausible threats of litigation that produce more unjust settlements.
the court liberally construes the pleadings in favor of sustaining the complaint It hardly makes sense for the court to entertain the action and decide the facts if the law will not provide any relief to the plaintiff even if she proves everything alleged in the complaint An example would be a suit for negligent infliction of emotional distress in a jurisdiction that does not recognize a right to recover for emotional distress unless the plaintiff also suffers physical injury. Once issue is joined. that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party . DISCOVERY The big news in civil procedure over the last century has been the demise of pleading and the rise of discovery DISCOVERY: the legal process for compelling the disclosure of information relevant to disputed factual issues in litigation Under our current notice pleading rules. If physical injury is required. . not by the court Interrogatories and requests for production are sent by counsel for the parties to each other. the court-mandated production of information from other parties and non-party witnesses Under Rule 26(b)(1). The responding party either provides the requested information or raises an objection to doing so The 1993 amendments to Rule 26 introduced. by summary judgment To encourage settlement by educating the parties about the strengths and weaknesses of their cases 1. based on preliminary research and investigation. and responses are sent back by counsel. automatic disclosure requirements in civil actions 45 . full development of the parties’ positions evolves through the process of discovery. “Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter. DISCOVERY PROCESS Discovery is conducted by the parties. the court might just as well dismiss at the outset since the plaintiff will not be entitled to relief if she is allowed to proceed with the suit A plaintiff whose complaint has been dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) will virtually always be given at least one opportunity to amend the complaint to state a compensable claim.Procedure In considering the motion. . without trial—that is. before her case is dismissed B. and the plaintiff cannot allege it. for the first time.” (emphasis added) Rationale for Broad Discovery To enable more accurate outcomes by allowing each party to present at trial the most favorable case that can be made on its side To narrow the issues at trial To make available prior to trial information revealing whether case may be disposed of. in whole or in part. not privileged. the complaint and the answer provide a tentative view of the parties’ positions.
but does not directly participate in the exchange herself Under Rule 26(c). the names and addresses of witnesses. threatens information that is exempt from discovery or confidential. the requesting party may move to compel disclosure or discovery 2. and the attorney requesting the deposition questions the witness. nor does she screen interrogatories and document requests before they are sent. a party who believes an opponent has failed to comply with a proper discovery request must first confer informally with the opponent. seeking information relevant to the issues in dispute (Rule 33) Responding party answers under oath Probably the most frequently used form of discovery Probably most effective for obtaining basic background information (e. or is too expensive or harassing Under Rule 37(a)(2). which will only be granted “for good cause shown” (Rule 35) 46 .. to disclose to other parties information and witnesses the party “may use to support its claims or defenses” Automatic disclosure was introduced to speed the process of discovery and reduce its costs.g. parties are required. the location and nature of records and other evidence. etc. If informal means do not resolve the matter. usually by a court stenographer Probably the most effective means of obtaining detailed information from witnesses before trial Expensive and time-consuming PHYSICAL OR MENTAL EXAMINATIONS Available only against parties and only when the physical or mental state of party is at issue Parties must obtain a court order for an examination. critics say it undermined the adversary system by forcing lawyers to disclose too much The judge is not present at the depositions. seeking designated documents or things in its control for inspection and copying (Rule 34) ORAL DEPOSITIONS: the taking of testimony from a witness under oath (Rule 30) Counsel for both parties sit down with the witness. She is there to assist in scheduling discovery and resolving disputes that arise during the exchange. at the outset of the case and without a request from any other party. counsel for the deponent has the right to crossexamine Because the witness is sworn. DISCOVERY METHODS INTERROGATORIES: questions propounded by one party to an opposing party.Procedure Under Rule 26(a)(1). her testimony is subject to penalties for perjury The testimony is recorded. an abused party may obtain a protective order limiting discovery where the party believes that proposed discovery extends too broadly.) Inexpensive REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS: requests by one party to an opposing party or non-party.
or is willing to consider providing. 449 U. not the hiding of it a. doctorpatient. PRIVILEGES Courts have long recognized that some evidence. even though relevant to litigation. should be protected from disclosure in a lawsuit Privileges commonly recognized by the courts include: attorney-client.S. or raise an objection to the request A means of narrowing the scope of trial by eliminating uncontested issues 3. legal services The attorney-client privilege cannot be overcome by a showing that the information embodied in the protected communication is not available from any other source The attorney-client privilege can be waived by the client. v.Procedure Potentially used as an instrument of intimidation. psychotherapist-patient. priest-patient. especially when no physical or mental injury is included in the complaint REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS: requests by one party to an opposing party.’s internal investigation of one of its foreign subsidiaries that was suspected of making illegal payments to secure government business 47 . 383 (1981) The Internal Revenue Service demanded production of all files relating to Upjohn Co. husband-wife Do privileges serve the search for truth? The reporter-source privilege is unique in that it ultimately protects the revealing of information. seeking admission of certain facts (Rule 36) Receiving party is required to admit or deny the truth of the statements. Attorney-client ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE: bars inquiry into communications between a client and her counsel in the course of legal representation An attorney-client relationship is created when the client reasonably believes that the attorney is providing. such communication will be inhibited if opposing counsel could essentially “listen in” on these communications by asking about them at trial Upjohn Co. either by voluntarily disclosing the communication or by failing to claim the privilege Exceptions to attorney-client privilege include: Crime-fraud (whereby communications in furtherance of crime or fraud are not protected) Lawyer-client disputes (whereby communications relevant to a breach of duty by the lawyer to the client or the client to the lawyer are not protected) Lawyer self-protection (whereby communications that are necessary for a lawyer to rebut an accusation of wrong-doing are not protected) Rationale for Attorney-Client Privilege Effective representation requires full and frank communication between lawyer and client. United States.
notably witness statements and document compilations The work-product doctrine can be overcome if the information either cannot be obtained from other sources or can only be obtained with great difficulty (but there is no exception to the attorney-client privilege based on the unavailability of information from other sources) Rationale for Work-Product Doctrine To prevent interference with the confidentiality of trial preparation (such as an adversary’s legal theories. Work product WORK-PRODUCT DOCTRINE: bars production of certain materials developed in anticipation of litigation. 495 (1947) Posture Appeal from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. the party is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means” The work-product doctrine only protects materials prepared in anticipation of litigation. insurer. consultant. and plans for trial and settlement) To prevent lawyers from riding on their adversary’s coattails in preparing for trial—from letting opposing counsel do all the work and then obtaining the results through discovery To prevent lawyers from becoming witnesses in their own cases if the statements they produced contradicted other testimony from the same witnesses Making lawyers into witnesses would force them to balance truthfulness against faithfulness to their clients Hickman v. indemnitor. on the other hand. causing the death of nine crew members 48 . evaluation of witnesses. 329 U. . and memoranda summarizing legal research (Rule 26(b)(3)) Under Rule 26(b)(3).S. which held that the information sought was part of the “work product of the lawyer” and hence privileged from discovery under the Federal Rules Facts Taylor (respondent) owned a tug boat that sank in an unusual accident. a party may not obtain in discovery material “prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or for that other party’s representative (including the other party’s attorney. whether or not related to litigation. including but not limited to statements taken from witnesses. refused to produce the documents. or agent)” unless the party seeking discovery “has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of the party’s case and .Procedure Upjohn Co. Taylor. notes taken at meetings with witnesses or other people knowledgeable about the matter in dispute. surety. whereas the attorney-client privilege protects communications made in connection with legal service of any kind. the work-product doctrine covers information form other sources than the client. citing attorney-client privilege and the workproduct doctrine The Court ruled that the scope of attorney-client privilege extends beyond the “control group” of senior officials to reach middle-level and lower-level employees who possess information needed by the corporation’s lawyers The Court also ruled that Upjohn’s attorneys’ notes of witnesses’ oral statements were protected by the work-product doctrine because they revealed the attorneys’ mental processes b. .
whether presently in the form of his mental impressions or memoranda. records. . 38 requested copies of written statements taken from the surviving crew members and detailed reports of oral statements. For aught that appears. we do not believe that any showing of necessity can be made under the circumstances of this case so as to justify productions” Concurrence by Jackson “[A] common law trial is and always should be an adversary proceeding. And production might be justified where the witnesses are no longer available or can be reached only with difficulty” “As to oral statements made by witnesses to Fortenbaugh. . Taylor’s attorney. refused to provide the requested materials Issue Whether the methods of discovery may be used to inquire into materials collected by an adverse party’s counsel in the course of preparation for possible litigation Holding The methods of discovery may not be used to inquire into materials collected by an adverse party’s counsel in the course of preparation for possible litigation Reasoning Opinion by Murphy “[Petitioner] has sought discovery as of right of oral and written statements of witnesses whose identity is well known and whose availability to petitioner appears unimpaired” “We are thus dealing with an attempt to secure the production of written statements and mental impressions contained in the files and the mind of attorney Fortenbaugh without any showing of necessity or any indication or claim that denial of such production would unduly prejudice the preparation of petitioner’s case or cause him any hardship or injustice.Procedure Taylor employed a law firm to defend him against potential suits resulting from the tug boat accident Fortenbaugh. interviewed and took written statements from the survivors with an eye toward litigation Hickman (petitioner). Where relevant and non-privileged facts remain hidden in an attorney’s file and where production of those facts is essential to the preparation of one’s case. Discovery was hardly intended to enable a learned profession to perform its functions either without wits or on wits borrowed from the adversary” “Every lawyer dislikes to take the witness stand and will do so only for grave 49 . discovery may properly be had. the essence of what petitioner seeks either has been revealed to him already through the interrogatories or is readily available to him direct from the witnesses for the asking” “[N]either Rule 26 or any other rule dealing with discovery contemplates production under such circumstances” “[I]t is essential that a lawyer work with a certain degree of privacy. free from unnecessary intrusion by opposing parties and their counsel” “We do not mean to say that all written materials obtained or prepared by an adversary’s counsel with an eye toward litigation are necessarily free from discovery in all cases. filed 39 interrogatories directed to Taylor Interrogatory No. through counsel. . representing the deceased. or other memoranda made concerning the tug’s sinking Taylor.
appropriate only if the evidence before the court demonstrates that there are no disputed issues of material fact to be tried and that the moving party is entitled to judgment on the undisputed facts (Rule 56) Summary judgment is not meant to try the facts but only to determine whether there are genuinely contested issues of material fact Rule 56 provides that a motion for summary judgment may be supported by affidavits. . prior to trial. may not be used as supporting evidence on a summary judgment motion When summary judgment does not end a case. to determine whether a party who bears the burden of production will be able to meet it. facts are always discoverable While Rule 26(b)(3) codified much of Hickman. such as an attorney’s recollections Adversary system vs.Procedure reasons. answers to interrogatories. for we may not want them to develop biases early on C. and not because he wants to do so but in self-defense” Significanc Announced the work-product doctrine e Adversary system vs. acting rationally. depositions. portions of a claim. and admissible documents. Relationship between the Standard for Granting Summary Judgment and the Burdens of Production and Persuasion BURDEN OF PRODUCTION: a party’s (typically the plaintiff’s) burden of producing evidence that is sufficiently persuasive that a jury. judicial management: To what extent to do we have an adversarial system that is structured by decisions of the lawyers? We may not want judges to be exposed to the evidence early in the process. admissions. but they demonstrate that the party has access to evidence that would be admissible Allegations in the pleadings. could find that the party had proven each element of its case BURDEN OF PERSUASION: a party’s (typically the plaintiff’s) burden of establishing that its version of events is more probably true than its opponent’s Summary judgment serves as a device that can be used. SUMMARY JUDGMENT SUMMARY JUDGMENT: entry of judgment by the court in favor of either the plaintiff or the defendant without trial. these materials are not always admissible at trial themselves. broad discovery: Hickman stated the enduring importance of maintaining adversarial incentives despite also recognizing a general commitment to broad discovery Hickman did not limit the discovery of facts themselves. etc. which represent the parties’ assertions as to what they can prove. the court may limit summary judgment to individual claims. But the practice advocated here is one which would force him to be a witness. the Rule only limits discovery of that which is a document or tangible thing. Indeed. . Hickman itself continues to provide protection of intangible attorney trial preparation. not as to what he has seen or done but as to other witnesses’ stories. it may nevertheless streamline it. . most motions for summary judgment are made by defendants against plaintiffs who bear the burden of production 50 .
H.S. but cannot prove one or more of those elements (however. 464 (1970) Adickes. Circuit. after being ordered out of the store. had been arrested on a vagrancy charge as she walked out Adickes alleged that the refusal of service and the subsequent arrest were part of a conspiracy between the store and the police to violate her Fourteenth Amendment rights The federal district court dismissed her claim on a motion for summary judgment. the nonmoving party need not submit any evidentiary materials in opposition Rationale for Motion for Summary Judgment Efficiency To allow early resolution of cases in which the plaintiff meets the minimal burden to plead the elements of a compensable claim. and the Second Circuit affirmed The Court unanimously reversed the summary judgment order As the moving party. however. Catrett. Kress & Co. 317 (1986) Posture Appeal from the Court of Appeals for the D. Kress “failed to carry its burden of showing the absence of any genuine issue of fact”. accompanied by six black students. Kress failed “to foreclose the possibility that there was a policeman in the Kress store while petitioner was awaiting service. 51 . the movant had to negate the material facts to be proved at trial) Celotex Corp. because a motion for summary judgment is made before trial. that the moving party should be entitled to force such a test without affirmatively demonstrating that there is reason to believe that the nonmoving party will fail it Rule 56 has been interpreted as imposing an initial burden on the party moving for summary judgment to “support” the motion by showing the absence of factual dispute If the motion is adequately supported. based on evidentiary materials (and not on the pleadings). the nonmoving party must show. and that this policeman reached an understanding with some Kress employee that petitioner not be served” Most commentators read the decision as placing the burden on the movant.. S..Procedure The Moving Party’s Obligation to Support the Motion for Summary Judgment (When the Nonmoving Party Carries the Burdens of Production and Persuasion at Trial) Summary judgment procedure is designed so that a moving party can “pierce” the nonmoving party’s pleading and force a test of the nonmoving party’s ability to meet its burden of production at trial. a white teacher. which held that petitioner’s failure to support its motion precluded the entry of summary judgment in its favor Facts Catrett (respondent) alleged that the death of her husband resulted from his exposure to products containing asbestos manufactured by Celotex Corp. summary judgment may sometimes be premature) Adickes v. even one who would not have the burden of proof at trial. 398 U.e. “to show the absence of genuine issues of material fact in order to obtain summary judgment” (i.S. 477 U. had attempted to order lunch at a Kress store in Mississippi and. v. It does not follow.C. that a factual dispute exists If the motion is not adequately supported.
answers to interrogatories. whether or not accompanied by affidavits. .’ and Rule 56(e) therefore requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the pleadings and by her own affidavits. and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial” “[W]e find no express or limited requirement in Rule 56 that the moving party support its motion with affidavits or other similar materials negating the opponent’s claim” “In cases like the instant one. had carried its initial burden of supporting its motion for summary judgment Holding Celotex. arguing that Catrett had “failed to produce evidence that any [Celotex] product . answers to interrogatories.’ designate ‘specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial” “We do not mean that the nonmoving party must produce evidence in a form that would be admissible at trial in order to avoid summary judgment. . against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party’s case. Catrett produced three documents that she claimed “demonstrate that there is a genuine material factual dispute” as to whether the decedent has ever been exposed to Celotex’s asbestos products The district court granted Celotex’s motion for summary judgment Issue Whether Celotex. except the mere pleadings themselves” “[T]he burden on the moving party may be discharged by ‘showing’—that is. after adequate time for discovery and upon motion.’ Such a motion. Second.Procedure (petitioner) Celotex moved for summary judgment in federal district court. had carried its initial burden of supporting its motion for summary judgment Reasoning Opinion by Rehnquist “[T]he plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment. the party moving for summary judgment may satisfy Rule 56’s burden of production in either of two ways. Rule 56(e) permits a proper summary judgment motion to be opposed by any of the kinds of evidentiary materials listed in Rule 56(c). or by the ‘depositions. First. was the proximate cause” of her husband’s death In response to the motion. the moving party. pointing out to the district court—that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party’s case” Dissent by Brennan “If the moving party will bear the burden of persuasion at trial. the moving party. . depositions. where the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue. the 52 . will be ‘made and supported as provided in this rule. that party must support its motion with credible evidence—using any of the materials specified in Rule 56(c)—that would entitle it to a directed verdict if not controverted at trial” “If the burden of persuasion at trial would be on the nonmoving party. a summary judgment motion may properly be made in reliance solely on the ‘pleadings. . . and admissions on file. and admissions of file. the moving party may submit affirmative evidence that negates an essential element of the nonmoving party’s claim.
My disagreement with the Court concerns the application of these principles to the facts of this case” “Celotex was not free to ignore supporting evidence that the record clearly contained. . [T]he moving party must affirmatively demonstrate that there is no evidence in the record to support a judgment for the nonmoving party” “If the moving party has not fully discharged this initial burden of production. Celotex was required. . as an initial matter. and the court need not consider whether the moving party has met its ultimate burden of persuasion” “I do not read the Court’s opinion to say anything inconsistent with or different than the preceding discussion.Procedure moving party may demonstrate to the court that the nonmoving party's evidence is insufficient to establish an essential element of the nonmoving party’s claim” “Where the moving party adopts this second option . . its motion for summary judgment must be denied. . to attack the adequacy of this evidence” Significanc Widely interpreted as making summary judgment motions easier to win by e lessening the burden on the moving party 53 . . a conclusory assertion that the nonmoving party has no evidence is insufficient. Rather.
thirty states allow non-unanimous jury verdicts in civil cases Should complex cases be sent to a jury? In In re Japanese Electronic Products Antitrust Litigation. TRIAL A. Constitution: In suits at common law. 413 U. which upheld the local Rule Facts Local Rule 13(d)(1) of the Revised Rules of Procedure of the United States District Court for the District of Montana provided that a jury for the trial of civil cases shall consist of six persons When Battin (respondent. a district court judge) set this diversity case for trial before a jury of six in compliance with the Rule. 149 (1973) Posture Appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. many states have civil juries of fewer than twelve. JURY 7th Amendment to the U. morality. The 7th Amendment applies only to lawsuits brought in federal court.2d 1069 (3d Cir. When a particular case is too complex for a jury. not writing JURY NULLIFICATION: a jury’s knowing and deliberate rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law either because the jury wants to send a message about some social issue that is larger than the case itself or because the result dictated by law is contrary to the jury’s sense of justice. 1980). where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars. Battin. the traditional jury was composed of twelve people who were required to reach a unanimous verdict Under Rule 48. than according to the rules of the common law. the right of trial by jury shall be preserved. shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States. that the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment requires that litigants be provided a competent decision-maker. So far as the federal constitution is concerned. a jury trial might be a denial of due process How do you safeguard the role of the jury in cases of law and equity? Jury addresses the factual/legal claims first Judge then addresses the equitable claims Why aren’t juries allowed to take notes? Jurors are supposed to be watching and judging the credibility of witnesses. a unanimous jury verdict is required in federal civil cases “unless the parties otherwise stipulate”—this unanimity requirement applies even in diversity cases tried in states that permit non-unanimous verdicts.S. Colgrove (petitioner) sought mandamus from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to direct Judge 54 . in dictum. The federal constitutional guarantee of jury trial in civil cases has not been incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment. 631 F. with six being the most common number Under Rule 48. the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recognized. and no fact tried by a jury. a jury in a federal civil trial shall not be fewer than six nor more than twelve.S. or fairness Colgrove v. a state is free to modify or wholly abolish trial by jury in civil cases At common law.Procedure VI.
‘suits at common law’” “[B]y referring to the ‘common law. the 7th Amendment Whether a local federal district court rule providing for a 6-person jury for civil cases violated the 7th A A local federal district court rule providing for a 6-person jury for civil cases did not violate the 7th A Opinion by Brennan “The pertinent words of the Seventh Amendment are: ‘In Suits at common law . and was wholly unknown to the Framers of the Seventh Amendment” “[T]he Seventh Amendment requires a historical analysis geared toward determination of what the institution was in 1791 which the Framers intended to ‘preserve.’ the Framers of the Seventh Amendment were concerned with preserving the right of trial by jury in civil cases where it existed at common law. we conclude that a jury of six satisfies the Seventh Amendment’s guarantee of trial by jury in civil cases” Dissent by Marshall “We deal here not with some minor tinkering with the role of the civil jury. [is] a function of its size. . produces different results.’ On its face.’” “Our inquiry turns. but rather defines the kind of cases for which jury trial is preserved. .’ and ‘[n]ew devices may be used to adapt the ancient institution to present needs and to make of it an efficient instrument in the administration of justice . namely.’ and nothing has been suggested to lead us to alter that conclusion. . rather than the various incidents of trial by jury” “The Amendment. we think it cannot be said that 12 members is a substantive aspect of the right of trial by jury” “[W]hile we express no view as to whether any number less than six would suffice. . to whether a jury of 12 is of the substance of the common-law right of trial by jury. therefore.’” “When a historical approach is applied to the issue at hand. .Procedure Battin to impanel a 12-member jury Colgrove contended that the local Rule violated. . such as size. . . . does not ‘bind the federal courts to the exact procedural incidents or details of jury trial according to the common law in 1791. Accordingly. but with its wholesale abolition and replacement with a different institution which functions differently. . then. . it cannot be doubted that the Framers envisioned a jury of 12 when they referred to trial by jury” Adopted a functional analysis of the 7th Amendment’s provisions Issue Holding Reasoning Significanc e Critics of Colgrove argue that a jury 6-person jury would differ from a 12-person jury in two important respects: 55 . we rejected the notion that ‘the reliability of the jury as a factfinder . the right of trial by jury shall be preserved . [T]he question comes down to whether jury performance is a function of jury size” “In Williams. among other things. this language is not directed to jury characteristics. .
the defendant must show: i.” and requires that “[n]o citizen shall be excluded from [jury] service . To assure that the broader public fulfills its civic responsibility by sharing in the administration of justice To establish a prima facie violation of the “fair cross section” requirement. To prevent bias in fact-finding ii. religion. color. also termed ARRAY. A group of potential jurors is assembled at the courthouse. §§1861–1878. 28 U. That the group alleged to be excluded is a “cognizable” or “distinctive” group in the community ii. Cutting the jury size by half has a fairly large effect on the likelihood that no member of a minority group will be seated as a juror Jury Selection Jury selection takes place in two stages: 1. JURY PANEL. The prohibition on intentional discrimination against individual jurors imposed by the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection Clause) and the 5th Amendment (Due Process Clause) ii. the state can justify its selection process only by showing that a “significant state interest” is “manifestly and primarily advanced by those aspects of the selection process that result in the exclusion” 2. provides that “all litigants in Federal courts entitled to trial by jury” shall be entitled to a venire “selected at random from a fair cross section of the community. on account of race.Procedure Quality of deliberation. or JURY POOL The Jury Selection and Service Act. sex. The requirement of the 6th Amendment.S. through a process called voir dire 56 . The actual jury is chosen from the members of the venire. national origin. .C. applicable in criminal cases only. A smaller group is likely to remember less information and need less effort to convince any members with divergent views that they should conform to the will of the majority Breadth of representation. . Those potential jurors are called the venire VENIRE: a panel of persons selected for jury duty and from among whom the jurors are to be chosen. That this underrepresentation is due to “systematic exclusion” of the group in the jury-selection process Once a prima facie case has been established. or economic status” The Jury Selection and Service Act implements 2 independent constitutional requirements that are binding in both state and federal court: i. that the venire must be drawn “from a fair cross section of the community” The “fair cross section” requirement serves 2 main purposes: i. That the representation of this group in venires from which juries are selected is not “fair and reasonable” in relation to the number of such persons in the community iii.
App. ethnicity.S. §455: (a) Any justice. the party making the peremptory challenge must give a nondiscriminatory reason for striking the juror. practices does not amount to ‘systematic exclusion’ necessary to support a representative cross-section claim” B. (b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances: (1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party. §144: Whenever a party to any proceeding in a district court makes and files a timely and sufficient affidavit that the judge before whom the matter is pending has a personal bias or prejudice either against him or in favor of any adverse party. a peremptory challenge could not be attacked and did not have to be explained. Currie. . who was convicted after a jury trial of second-degree murder. JUDGE 28 U. But if discrimination is charged today. The court must consider several factors in deciding whether the proffered reason is merely a screen for illegal discrimination People v. §1870) PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE: one of a party’s limited number of challenges that do not need to be supported by a reason unless the opposing party makes a prima facie showing that the challenge was used to discriminate on the basis of race. but a limited number of peremptory challenges. In civil cases in federal court. 28 U.Procedure VOIR DIRE: a preliminary examination of a prospective juror by a judge (common in federal court) or lawyer (common in state court) to decide whether the prospect is qualified and suitable to serve on a jury Answers to questions during voir dire provide the basis for the lawyers to excuse particularly jurors. alleged that he was denied his 6th Amendment right to a trial by an impartial jury drawn from a representative cross-section of the community Specifically.C. judge. 87 Cal. each party has 3 peremptory challenges (28 U. either for cause or peremptorily A party has an unlimited number of challenges for cause. but another judge shall be assigned to hear such proceeding.S.4th 225 (2001) Currie. or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding. Currie alleged that blacks were underrepresented on the lists of potential jurors in the county where he was convicted The court held that Currie failed to establish a prima facie violation of the fair-cross-section requirement because he failed to show that the underrepresentation was caused by the “systematic exclusion” of blacks The court explained that “[s]tatistical underrepresentation of minority groups resulting from race-neutral . such judge shall proceed no further therein.C. or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.C. or sex At one time. . 57 .S.
director. knowledgeable member of the public would find to be a reasonable basis for doubting the judge’s impartiality Liljeberg v. individually or as a fiduciary. or an officer. Ct.S. it is appropriate to consider the risk of injustice to the parties in the particular case. and the risk of undermining the public’s confidence in the judicial process” Cheney v.S. the judge against whom the motion for recusal is made hears and decides any factual issues presented. those with respect to political leanings or attitudes are inexplicit and judges are rarely disqualified on those grounds Under the “extrajudicial source” doctrine. or the judge or such lawyer has been a material witness concerning it. 1391 (2004) Facts Cheney convened a National Energy Policy Task Force 58 . a party may be relieved of a final judgment. (5) He or his spouse. to reporters) may be grounds for recusal Under 28 U. the Court concluded that. “in determining whether a judgment should be vacated for a violation of § 455. or trustee of a party.C. 847 (1988) The Court held that 28 U. has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding. actions taken and statements made by the judge on the basis of events occurring in the case—as distinct from attitudes or communications that predate or occur independently of the proceedings—are typically not a basis for recusal A judge’s extrajudicial commentary (for example. even though the judge was not conscious of the circumstances creating the appearance of impropriety” With respect to Rule 60(b). While the rules with respect to financial disqualification are detailed and strict. adviser or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy. 124 S. including the question of his actual bias A judge has an obligation not to recuse herself unless the charge of actual or apparent bias really holds water: disqualification is appropriate only if the facts provide what an objective. §455. United States District Court for the District of Columbia. or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.C. (iii) Is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding. (4) He knows that he. or a lawyer with whom he previously practiced law served during such association as a lawyer concerning the matter. (ii) Is acting as a lawyer in the proceeding.. or the spouse of such a person: (i) Is a party to the proceeding. in appropriate cases. which provides a procedure whereby. §455(a) “can be violated based on an appearance of partiality. the risk that the denial of relief will produce injustice in other cases. or his spouse or minor child residing in his household. and make a reasonable effort to inform himself about the personal financial interests of his spouse and minor children residing in his household. (3) Where he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel.S. Health Services Acquisition Corp.Procedure (2) Where in private practice he served as lawyer in the matter in controversy. (c) A judge should inform himself about his personal and fiduciary financial interests. 486 U. or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them. (iv) Is to the judge’s knowledge likely to be a material witness in the proceeding.
§455(a) Holding The motion to recuse is denied Reasoning Memorandum by Scalia “I never hunted in the same blind with the Vice President. That is intolerable” C. such as providing legal aid to the poor. the Sierra Club requested the minutes of the Task Force’s meetings Justice Scalia went on a duck-hunting trip in a group that included Cheney Cheney’s case reached the Supreme Court Sierra Club made a motion for Justice Scalia’s recusal under 28 U. and the possibility of them does not convert an official suit into a private one” “[S]ocial courtesies. §455(a). where space is available” “Recusal would in my judgment harm the Court. ATTORNEY 1. provided at Government expense by officials whose only business before the Court is business in their official capacity. perhaps. almost all states have either a voluntary or mandatory IOLTA program LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION: a nonprofit federal corporation that provides financial aid in civil cases to those who cannot afford legal assistance through grants to legal59 .C. . a named official. and especially a sector of business with which he was formerly connected. . [R]ecusing in the face of such charges would give elements of the press a veto over participation of any Justices who had social contacts with. for instances so brief and unintentional that I would not recall them” “The Court proceeds with eight Justices.S. law-related purposes. raising the possibility that.Procedure Alleging that oil industry executives were de facto members of the Task Force and favored by its recommendations. Nor was I alone with him at any time during the trip. there could be political consequences from disclosure of the fact (if it be so) that the Vice President favored business interests. or were even known to be friends of. have not hitherto been thought prohibited. it will find itself unable to resolve the significant legal issue presented by the case” “[W]hile friendship is a ground for recusal of a Justice where the personal fortune or the personal freedom of the friend is at issue. no matter how important the official action was to the ambitions or the reputation of the Government officer” “To be sure. LEGAL SERVICES FOR THE INDIGENT Many states provide free legal assistance for indigents through legal services programs INTEREST ON LAWYERS’ TRUST ACCOUNTS (IOLTA): a program that allows a lawyer or law firm to deposit a client's retained funds into an interest-bearing account that designates the interest payments to charitable. by reason of a tie vote. except.C. it has traditionally not been a ground for recusal where official action is at issue. .S. alleging that his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned” Issue Whether Justice Scalia should recuse himself under 28 U. But political consequences are not my concern. Members of Congress and others are frequently invited to accompany Executive Branch officials on Government planes.
a federal court may only “request” an attorney to represent an indigent litigant 2. 490 U.25 per capita annually for indigent legal services How do the non-indigent afford legal services? CONTINGENT FEE: a fee charged for a lawyer’s services only if the lawsuit is successful or is favorably settled out of court.S.C. military desertions. firms. §1915(d) empowers federal courts to make compulsory appointments of counsel in civil actions The Supreme Court held that 28 U. a joint venture of the Legal Services Corporation of Iowa and the Iowa State Bar Association. which may lead to more “junk suits” Insurance companies provide lawyer services as needed (services are paid by insurance premiums) Unions often provide low-cost legal services Fee bidding for class-action representation Mallard v. corporations. to represent two current inmates and one former inmate who sued prison officials under federal law Mallard filed a motion to withdraw with the District Court. the agency was created by the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974 Funds cannot be used for political activities. it may cause lawyers to take cases based on the size of the potential recovery rather than on the legal merits The alternative to contingent fees is an hourly wage system. United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. etc.S. stating that he had no familiarity with the legal issues presented in the case and would willingly volunteer in an area in which he possessed some expertise In upholding the Magistrate’s decision denying Mallard’s motion. the rule is subject to bad-faith and other statutory and contractual exceptions ENGLISH RULE: the requirement that a losing litigant must pay the winner's costs and attorney’s fees 60 . and 33% if the case is won at trial) While a contingent fee system may increase the incentives for lawyers to work hard and reduce the risks and costs of litigation for clients. 296 (1989) Mallard was asked by the Volunteer Lawyers Project. under §1915(d). the District Court held that 28 U.S.C.Procedure aid and other organizations and by contracting with individuals. ATTORNEY’S FEES AMERICAN RULE: the general policy that all litigants. Funds cannot be used to challenge existing welfare law Americans spend only $2. contingent fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the client’s net recovery (such as 25% of the recovery if the case is settled. §1915(d) does not authorize a federal court to require an unwilling attorney to represent an indigent litigant in a civil case. must bear their own attorney’s fees. and organizations to provide legal services. abortions. even the prevailing one.
Procedure COMMON-FUND DOCTRINE: the principle that a litigant who creates. and the court dismissed the case as moot Under the FHAA and the ADA. 532 U. 598 (2004) Buckhannon Board and Care Home. where plaintiff’s damages was $33. may grant the prevailing party reasonable attorney’s fees “Prevailing”: see Buckhannon “Party”: does not include pro se plaintiffs but does include defendants. West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. in its discretion. but has nonetheless achieved the desired result because the lawsuit brought about a voluntary change in the defendant’s conduct In rejecting the “catalyst theory. the West Virginia legislature amended state law. failed a state inspection because its care home did not conform with requirements under state law Buckhannon brought suit in federal district court. who can obtain attorney’s fees only if the plaintiff’s suit is frivolous. a court once allowed attorney’s fees of $245. even absent clear statutory authorization Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Award Act of 1967: the court. v.” which posits that a plaintiff is a “prevailing party” if it achieves the desired result because the lawsuit brought a voluntary change in the defendant’s conduct The Supreme Court held that a “prevailing party” for purposes of awarding attorney’s fees does not include a plaintiff that has failed to secure a judgment on the merits or a courtordered consent decree.S. or preserves a fund to which others also have a claim is entitled to recover litigation costs and attorney's fees from that fund SUBSTANTIAL-BENEFIT DOCTRINE: when other shareholders benefit in a pecuniary or non-pecuniary way from litigation. alleging that state law violated the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 While the suit was pending. Inc.000. Inc. fees are not awarded because the losing plaintiff is not guilty of violating a law and still has fulfilled a civic duty by bringing the suit “Reasonable”: general rule for determining fees is to multiply the number of hours the attorney spent on the case by the prevailing hourly rate in the jurisdiction where suit was brought. discovers.000 Buckhannon Board and Care Home.” the Court held that an award of attorney’s fees under the FHAA or the ADA is allowed only where there is a “judicially sanctioned change in the legal relationship of the parties” 61 . he is entitled to attorney’s fees. the corporation owes attorney’s fees PRIVATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL DOCTRINE: when a private plaintiff prevails in a (civil rights) suit of societal importance and of great magnitude. Buckhannon requested attorney’s fees as the “prevailing party” Buckhannon argued that it was entitled to attorney’s fees under the “catalyst theory. when the plaintiff’s suit is not frivolous. increases.
Without the certainty provided by res judicata/collateral estoppel. The specter of res judicata encourages the parties to take full advantage of the Rules to present their claims initially. there are 4 prerequisites for res judicata: 1.Procedure VII. even if an appeal is pending Other courts only give res judicata effect to judgments if the time for appeal has passed or the case has been finally resolved by the appellate court 2. For the winner. such as dismissals for improper venue or lack of personal jurisdiction. Allowing parties to go at it again once they have had a full and fair opportunity to litigate a claim would multiply the costs and delay of litigation 2. JUDGMENT A. The “claim” in the second suit must be the “same” as the “claim” in the first suit 62 . are not decisions “on the merits” Dismissals for failure to prosecute are considered “on the merits. RES JUDICATA (CLAIM PRECLUSION) RES JUDICATA: an affirmative defense barring the same parties from litigating a second lawsuit on the same claim. PRECLUSIVE EFFECT MERGER: the effect of a judgment for the plaintiff. some dismissals. it is greeted with more mixed emotions Reliance 1. that there will be no “second bite at the apple” 1. The judgment must be “on the merits” At one extreme. since they know that they will not get a second chance to try the suit. parties would not be able to rely on court decisions in planning their future conduct Efficiency 1. or any other claim arising from the same transaction or series of transactions and that could have been—but was not—raised in the first suit In most jurisdictions. the effect of a judgment for the defendant Rationale for Preclusive Effect Repose 1. so that the plaintiff’s rights are confined to enforcing the judgment BAR: A barrier to or the destruction of a legal action or claim.” because the plaintiff had a full opportunity to litigate on the merits Default judgments are considered “on the merits” 3. for the lose. There must be a “final judgment” Many courts give res judicata effect to a judgment once it has become final in the trial court. such repose is clearly welcome. which absorbs any claim that was the subject of the lawsuit into the judgment. a full trial followed by a verdict and judgment is the paradigm of a decision “on the merits” At the other extreme.
does res judicata require not only joinder of causes of action but also joinder of parties? In virtually all jurisdictions. or the omitted claims will be barred by res judicata Under the “transaction or occurrence” test. the answer is no Ordinarily. there are 4 prerequisites for collateral estoppel: 1. The issue in the second suit must be the same as the issue in the first suit 2. The issue must have been actually litigated (and not merely raised) in the first suit 3. The decision on the issue in the first suit must have been necessary to the court’s judgment (and not merely dictum) Nonmutual Collateral Estoppel MUTUALITY: a general rule allowing only parties who were involved in the suit in which the issue was initially decided to invoke collateral estoppel 63 . The parties in the second action must be the same as those in the first (or have been represented by a party to the prior action) Res judicata (claim preclusion) requires that all related claims against existing parties be litigated in the same suit.Procedure A “claim” in the second suit is considered the “same” as one in the first suit if the claim was asserted or could have been asserted in the first suit A party who has asserted a right to relief arising out of a particular “transaction or occurrence” must join all claims she has arising from it. But a court may raise the question of claim preclusion on its own motion for the sake of judicial economy 2. the plaintiff must assert all of his causes of action—both state and federal—in that first suit 4. Does res judicata also require that all related causes of action be brought against all possible parties? In other words. a defense of res judicata should be raised by the party advantaged by the defense. even if the second action differs significantly from the first one Collateral estoppel is both broader and narrower than res judicata It is broader in that it can foreclose litigation of a particular issue in an entirely new context It is narrower in that it does not preclude all possible issues that might have been raised in a prior action but only those actually decided in that action In most jurisdictions. preclusion turns on the right to join the claim in the original action. COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL (ISSUE PRECLUSION) COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL: a doctrine barring a party from relitigating an issue determined against that party in an earlier action. The issue must have been actually decided The issue must have had a “winner” and a “loser” 4. not on whether the claim actually was asserted “Claim” is not defined in terms of state or federal substantive law. So long as the forum in which the first suit is filed is jurisdictionally competent to hear state and federal causes of action arising out of the claim.
the Court held that lower courts should exercise discretion in deciding whether to allow offensive assertions of estoppel The Court has held that offensive nonmutual collateral estoppel is not available against the United States Parklane Hosiery Co. 322 (1979) Posture Appeal from Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.S. the defendant may not have litigated the issue aggressively.S. 313 (1971). making essentially the same allegations as Shore The district court entered a declaratory judgment in the SEC’s favor Shore moved for a partial summary judgment to estop Parklane from relitigating the issues that had been resolved against it in the SEC action Issue Whether a litigant who was not a party to a prior judgment may nevertheless use that judgment “offensively” to prevent a defendant from relitigating issues resolved in the earlier proceeding Holding Shore’s offensive use of collateral estoppel is valid Reasoning Opinion by Stewart “In both the offensive and defensive use situations. the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Parklane in federal district court. in which it did not choose the forum or adversary In the first suit.Procedure NONMUTUAL COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL: estoppel asserted either offensively or defensively by a nonparty to an earlier action to prevent a party to that earlier action from relitigating an issue determined against it DEFENSIVE NONMUTUAL COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL “occurs when a defendant seeks to prevent a plaintiff from asserting a claim the plaintiff has previously litigated and lost against another defendant. the party being estopped was usually the plaintiff in the original suit. the party being estopped was usually a defendant in the original suit. v. 402 U. when that is true. to hold back from joining in the first plaintiff’s suit In Parklane. 439 U. (petitioner) in a stockholders’ class action. alleging misleading and material misrepresentations in Parklane’s proxy statement in connection with a merger Before the action came to trial. the Court approved of the use of defensive nonmutual collateral estoppel OFFENSIVE NONMUTUAL COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL “occurs when the plaintiff seeks to foreclose the defendant from litigating an issue the defendant has previously litigated unsuccessfully in an action with another party” In offensive estoppel cases. the party against whom 64 . where use of offensive nonmutual collateral estoppel was upheld Facts Shore (respondent) sued Parklane Hosiery Co. University of Illinois Foundation. Shore. In defensive estoppel cases. or it may not have been possible to litigate the issue effectively Allowing offensive use may lead plaintiffs to “wait and see”—that is. it seems fair to bind the plaintiff to the first resolution of the issue In Blonder-Tongue Laboratories. Inc. in which it chose the forum and the defendant against whom to litigate the issue.” Parklane. v.
even though because of lack of mutuality there would have been no collateral estoppel in 1791” Dissent by Rehnquist “I think it is clear that petitioners were denied their Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial in this case” “In my view. a trial judge should not allow the use of offensive collateral estoppel” “In the present case. however. nothing in the Seventh Amendment dictates a different result. . the law of collateral estoppel forecloses the petitioners from relitigating the factual issues determined against them in the SEC action. Since a plaintiff will be able to rely on a previous judgment against a defendant but will not be bound by that judgment if the defendant wins. none of the circumstances that might justify reluctance to allow the offensive use of collateral estoppel is present” “Since the petitioners received a ‘full and fair’ opportunity to litigate their claims in the SEC action. either for the reasons discussed above or for other reasons. . Nevertheless. the contemporary law of collateral estoppel leads inescapably to the conclusion that the petitioners are collaterally estopped from relitigating the question of whether the proxy statements were materially false and misleading” “[I]f. the plaintiff has every incentive to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. as we have held. he may have little incentive to defend vigorously. it is ‘unfair’ to apply offensive collateral estoppel where the party who is sought to be estopped had not had an opportunity to have the facts of his case determined by a jury” Significanc Lower courts retain discretion to decide whether to allow offensive use of e collateral estoppel 65 . particularly if future suits are not foreseeable” “Allowing offensive collateral estoppel may also be unfair to a defendant if the judgment relied upon as a basis for the estoppel is itself inconsistent with one or more previous judgments in favor of the defendant” “Still another situation where it might be unfair to apply offensive estoppel is where the second action affords the defendant procedural opportunities unavailable in the first action that could readily cause a different result” “The general rule should be that in cases where a plaintiff could easily have joined in the earlier action or where. offensive use of collateral estoppel does not promote judicial economy in the same manner as defensive use does. the application of offensive estoppel would be unfair to a defendant. If a defendant in the first action is sued for small or nominal damages. . in the hope that the first action by another plaintiff will result in a favorable judgment” “A second argument against offensive use of collateral estoppel is that it may be unfair to a defendant.Procedure estoppel is asserted has litigated and lost in an earlier action. several reasons have been advanced why the two situations should be treated differently” “First.
an award of $145 million in punitive damages. malice. a person as compensation for loss or injury COMPENSATORY DAMAGES: damages sufficient in amount to indemnify the injured person for the loss suffered. and intentional infliction of emotional distress At trial.S. 538 U. the Supreme Court of Utah reinstated them The U. the jury awarded the Campbells $1 million in compensatory damages and $145 million in punitive damages After the Court of Appeals of Utah remitted the damages. in the circumstances of the case.Procedure 3. are aimed at deterrence and retribution State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. where full compensatory damages were $1 million. under which it is necessary for a court to follow earlier judicial decisions when the same points arise again in litigation LAW OF A CASE: the doctrine holding that a decision rendered in a former appeal of a case is binding in a later appeal JUDICIAL ESTOPPEL: estoppel that prevents a party from contradicting previous declarations made during the same or an earlier proceeding if the change in position would adversely affect the proceeding or constitute a fraud on the court DOUBLE JEOPARDY: the doctrine that a party cannot be prosecuted or sentenced twice for substantially the same offense B. 517 U.S. Inc. or deceit. v. Supreme Court held that. also called ACTUAL DAMAGES PUNITIVE DAMAGES: damages awarded in addition to actual damages when the defendant acted with recklessness. v. but also of the severity of the penalty that a State may impose’” The Court reviewed the award of $145 million in punitive damages in light of the 3 “guideposts” set forth in BMW of North America. specifically. The degrees of reprehensibility of the defendant’s misconduct 66 . to recover for bad-faith failure to settle within the policy limits. 408 (2003) Campbells brought suit against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. 559 (1996): 1. are intended to redress the concrete loss that the plaintiff has suffered by reason of the defendant’s wrongful conduct. DAMAGES DAMAGES: money claimed by. OTHER DOCTRINES OF PRECLUSION STARE DECISIS: the doctrine of precedent. damages assessed by way of penalizing the wrongdoer or making an example to others.S. The reason is that ‘elementary notions of fairness enshrined in our constitutional jurisprudence dictate that a person receive fair notice not only of the conduct that will subject him to punishment. fraud. REMEDIES 1. Gore. or ordered to be paid to. was excessive and in violation of the Due Process Clause of the 14th A The Court explained: “The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the imposition of grossly excessive or arbitrary punishments on a tortfeasor. Campbell.
to get an injunction. often serves as an alternative to a permanent injunction. and complete remedy at law and that an irreparable injury will result unless the relief is granted Typical flow of equitable remedies: Temporary restraining order → preliminary injunction → permanent injunction → contempt for noncompliance TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO): a court order preserving the status quo until a litigant’s application for a preliminary or permanent injunction can be heard. adequate. a permanent injunction does not necessarily last forever PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION: an injunction that forbids or restrains an act. an INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTION. likely would justify a punitive damages award at or near the amount of compensatory damages. by insurance companies in determining whether a policy covers a given insured or peril Professor Fiss has identified 3 types of injunctions: 67 . a preliminary injunction will be issued only after the defendant receives notice and an opportunity to be heard. to a significant degree. or a PROVISIONAL INJUNCTION When a party obtains a preliminary injunction. The disparity between the actual or potential harm suffered by the plaintiff and the punitive damages award (“few awards exceeding a single-digit ration between punitive and compensatory damages. and it was an irrational and arbitrary deprivation of the property of the defendant” 2. also called a TEMPORARY INJUNCTION. . INJUNCTIONS INJUNCTION: a court order commanding or preventing an action. therefore. despite its name. declaratory judgments are often sought. The punitive award of $145 million. was neither reasonable nor proportionate to the wrong committed. The difference between the punitive damages awarded by the jury and the civil penalties authorized or imposed in comparable cases The Court concluded: “An application of the Gore guideposts to the facts of this case . this is the most common type of injunction MANDATORY INJUNCTION: an injunction that orders an affirmative act or mandates a specified course of conduct DECLARATORY JUDGMENT: a binding adjudication that establishes the rights and other legal relations of the parties without providing for or ordering enforcement. the complainant must show that there is no plain. this is because the likelihood of success on the merits is considered by the court when issuing a preliminary injunction PERMANENT INJUNCTION: an injunction granted after a final hearing on the merits. will satisfy due process”) 3. for example. .Procedure 2. pressure often mounts on the other party to settle. a temporary restraining order may sometimes be granted without notifying the opposing party in advance PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION: a temporary injunction issued before or during trial to prevent an irreparable injury from occurring before the court has a chance to decide the case.
arguing that an injunction was not necessary to ensure suitably prompt compliance by the Navy The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated and remanded with instructions that the district court order the Navy to cease the violation until it obtained a permit 68 . Romero-Barcelo. Navy’s operations on nearby Vieques Island.2d 1429 (7th Cir.g. 1986) Lawson Products.. Inc.S. Avnet. Inc...Procedure PREVENTIVE INJUNCTION: a forward-looking injunction to retrains a party from acting in the future REPARATIVE INJUNCTION: a backward-looking injunction to repair a past violation and make the aggrieved party whole STRUCTURAL INJUNCTION: an injunction to create a substantially new institutions. Avnet. 305 (1982) The Governor and residents of Puerto Rico sued to enjoin the U. . a distributor of automotive supplies. alleging a scheme by Avnet to lure customers and salespeople away from Lawson in a manner that tortiously interfered with Lawson’s business and contracts The federal district court denied Lawson’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Avnet The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of the preliminary injunction The Court of Appeals held that “[p]reliminary injunctions should be granted when the plaintiff has suffered an irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law and where the balance of equities. Inc. the probable outcome of a trial on the merits. 456 U. Brown II desegregation orders) Lawson Products. Inc.S. 782 F. and the public interest.. is determined by the district judge to favor the movant” The Court of Appeals noted that the “balance of equities” can be reflected by Judge Posner’s formula: P x Hp > (1 – P) x Hd That is. then a preliminary injunction should be granted The Court of Appeals further held that “the standard of review of the grant or denial of a preliminary injunction is the deferential ‘abuse of discretion’ standard” The Court of Appeals concluded that “the district court . . moved for a preliminary injunction against its competitor. v. alleging that the Navy had violated the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) by discharging ordnance into the waters surrounding Puerto Rico without having obtained a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency The federal district court refused to enjoin Navy operations pending consideration of the permit application. reflecting the relative harm to each party entailed in granting or denying the injunction. when current institutions are so beyond repair and reparative and preventive injunctions are insufficient because the whole system is corrupt (e. if the probability of plaintiff winning multiplied by the harm to the plaintiff is greater than the probability of plaintiff losing multiplied by the harm to the defendant. did not abuse its discretion in denying Lawson’s motion” Weinberger v.
” and. APPEALS APPEAL: a proceeding undertaken to have a decision reconsidered by a higher authority. a party must raise all claims of error in a single appeal (28 U. he is an “aggrieved party” who can seek appellate relief If the person obtained the relief he sought.” the district court must “balance the conveniences of the parties and possible injuries to them according as they may be affected by the granting or withholding of the injunction” The Court concluded that the district court had not “abused its discretion in denying an immediate cessation order while the Navy applied for a permit” C. the FWPCA permits the district court to order that relief it considers necessary to secure prompt compliance with the Act” The Court explained that “the basis for injunctive relief in the federal courts has always been irreparable injury and the inadequacy of legal remedies. “[r]ather than requiring a district court to issue an injunction for any and all statutory violations. under this rule. but may not be reviewed prior to that time by means of an interlocutory appeal FINAL-JUDGMENT RULE: the principle that a party may appeal only from a district court’s final decision that ends the litigation on the merits. §1291) But there are exceptions to the final-judgment rule: INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL: an appeal that occurs before the trial court’s final ruling on the entire case. he cannot pursue an appeal to secure vindication of a legal theory the lower court declined to adopt or to obtain an appellate imprimatur on the judgment A person who was substantially affected by the judgment but was not a party to the action cannot seek appellate review When and how may an appeal be pursued? A matter cannot be complained of on appeal unless objection was intelligibly made in the trial court at the time the event or ruling occurred or promptly thereafter A matter will not be considered by the appellate court unless it is properly cited in the appellant’s papers on appeal The general rule is that orders entered during the course of the trial proceeding.Procedure The Supreme Court ruled that. may be reviewed in connection with an appeal from a final judgment. some interlocutory appeals involve legal points 69 .C.S. usually heard at the same time as the appellant’s appeal Why appeal? The court below failed to adhere to proper procedure in reaching its decision The decision was based on misapplication of the substantive law or gross misapplication of the facts Who may pursue an appeal? If the person has won less than that which he sought in the way of relief. “where plaintiff and defendant present competing claims of injury. especially.A. the submission of a lower court’s or agency’s decision to a higher court for review and possible reversal CROSS-APPEAL: an appeal by the appellee. called “interlocutory” orders.
Procedure necessary to the determination of the case, while others involve collateral orders that are wholly separate from the merits of the action 28 U.S.C.A. §1292(b) provides that a district judge may state in writing that an otherwise non-appealable interlocutory order “involves a controlling question of law as to which there is a substantial difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal . . . may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation” Rule 23(f) allows appeal of a grant or denial of class action certification Rule 54(b) allows a district judge in a multi-claim or multi-party to enter a final judgment as to any claim or party prior to the termination of the entire litigation Extraordinary writs WRIT OF MANDAMUS: a writ issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly For an appellate court to issue a writ of mandamus, there must be “a clear and indisputable showing” of abuse of discretion by the district court Appellate courts are reluctant to issue writs because they turn a district court judge into a litigant and encourage “piecemeal” litigation What are the standards of review in the appellate court? An appellate court will decide questions of law de novo An appellate court will not receive new evidence, and will reverse a determination of fact only when it is “clearly erroneous” or “unsupported by evidence” A appellate court will not disturb rulings that are within the “sound discretion” of the trial court, unless there was an “abuse” of that discretion The scope of review of injunctive relief traditionally has been limited to “abuse of discretion,” unless the trial judge relied on an erroneous view of the law Even if there have been errors in the trial proceeding, reversal will not be granted if those errors were “harmless” or “nonprejudicial” There is no federal constitutional right to an appeal, though all states allow an appeal from the state trial court; the appellate process in the state courts is not federally mandated Very few federal cases are appealed, and only 10% of all federal appeals are reversed; most disputes are resolved at the trial court level
Rationale for Appellate Review To identify the extent to which the trial court has committed reversible error To provide guidance and direction to the lower courts and the broader public Dealing with the Appellate Crunch In the face of overwhelming caseloads, most courts of appeals have felt the need to institute screening procedures to decide which cases merit oral argument and how much time should be allowed for it Many cases are now disposed of by summary orders
Procedure Even when an opinion is written, it is frequently designated as not for publication and these opinions are usually regarded as without precedential effect Proposals have been made to reduce the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts and increase the number of federal judges
Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975) Cohn brought suit against Cox Broadcasting Corp., alleging that his right to privacy has been invaded by Cox’s television broadcasts giving the name of his deceased daughter The Georgia Supreme Court held that the broadcasts were not privileged under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and remanded the case to the lower court for trial The U.S. Supreme Court noted that it generally does not review the decisions of state courts until “the highest state court in which judgment could be had has rendered a ‘[f]inal judgment or decree’” The Court identified 4 categories of “cases in which the Court has treated the decision on the federal issue as a final judgment for purposes of 28 U.S.C. §1257 and has taken jurisdiction without awaiting the completion of the additional proceedings anticipated in the lower state courts”: Cases “where for one reason or another the federal issue is conclusive or the outcome of further proceedings preordained” Cases “in which the federal issue, finally decided by the highest court in the State, will survive and require decision regardless of the outcome of future state-court proceedings” Cases “where the federal claim has been finally decided, with further proceedings on the merits in the state courts to come, but in which later review of the federal issue cannot be had, whatever the ultimate outcome of the case” Cases “where the federal issue has been finally decided in the state courts with further proceedings pending in which the party seeking review here might prevail on the merits on nonfederal grounds, thus rendering unnecessary review of the federal issue by this Court, and where reversal of the state court on the federal issue would be preclusive of any further litigation on the relevant cause of action rather than merely controlling the nature and character of, or determining the admissibility of evidence in, the state proceedings still to come” The Court concluded that the case at bar fell into the fourth category: “Given these factors— that the litigation could be terminated by our decision on the merits and that a failure to decide the question now will leave the press in Georgia operating the shadow of the civil and criminal sanctions of a rule of law and a statute the constitutionality of which is in serious doubt—we find that reaching the merits is consistent with the pragmatic approach that we have followed in the past in determining finality” The definitions of the categories are so open-ended as to make exceptions subjective The Court was frustrated about appeals coming too late from the state courts By reviewing the decision of the state court, the Court raised concerns about federalism; normally, the Court should not preempt the state courts Digital Equipment Corp. v. Desktop Direct, Inc., 511 U.S. 863 (1994)
Procedure Desktop Direct, Inc. sued Digital Equipment Corp., charging Digital with unlawful use of the Desktop Direct name Desktop and Digital reached a settlement Several months later, Desktop moved to rescind the settlement agreement, alleging misrepresentation of material facts during settlement negotiations The federal district court granted the motion, and Digital appealed The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the District Court order was not appealable under 28 U.S.C. §1291, because it did not end litigation on the merits or fall within the “collateral order” exception to the finaljudgment requirement The U.S. Supreme Court held that “an order denying effect to a settlement agreement does not come within the narrow ambit of collateral orders” and thus cannot be immediately appealed The Supreme Court explained: “The collateral order doctrine is best understood not as an exception to the ‘final decision’ rule laid down by Congress in §1291, but as a ‘practical construction of it’; under the collateral order doctrine, immediate appeals are allowed “from a narrow class of decisions that do not terminate the litigation, but must, in the interest of ‘achieving a healthy legal system,’ nonetheless be treated as ‘final’” Digital’s asserted “right not to stand trial” was not “important” enough to warrant immediate appeal Because “collateral” is an elusive concept, the decision essentially turns on what the Court deems “important” enough to warrant immediate appeal Digital Equipment signaled disapproval of an expansive interpretation of the collateral order doctrine
Kerr v. United States District Court, 426 U.S. 394 (1976) Seven California prisoners filed a class action suit against the California Adult Authority (CAA) in federal District Court, alleging constitutional violations in which the CAA carried out is function of determining the length and conditions of punishment for convicted criminal offenders In the course of discovery, the plaintiffs submitted requests for the production of a number of CAA personnel files and prisoners’ files The CAA objected to the discovery, and the prisoners moved to compel it in the federal District Court The District Court ordered production of the files without prior in camera review The CAA filed a petition for a writ of mandamus under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. §1651(a), requesting the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to vacate the District Court’s order The Court of Appeals denied the petition for a writ of mandamus The Supreme Court held that “in the circumstances of this case—and particularly in light of the availability of an alternative, less extreme, path to modification of the challenged discovery orders—issuance of the writ is inappropriate” The Court emphasized that “[t]he remedy of mandamus is a drastic one, to be invoked only in extraordinary situations”; “the writ ‘has traditionally been used in the federal courts only
Procedure to “confine an inferior court to a lawful exercise of its prescribed jurisdiction or to compel it to exercise its authority when it is its duty to do so”’” The “alternative, less extreme, path” recommended by the Supreme Court was for the CAA to apply specifically for in camera review in the District Court Despite denying the petition for the writ, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the District Court, urging it to allow in camera review IN CAMERA INSPECTION: a trial judge’s private consideration of evidence
Bankers Life & Casualty Co. v. Crenshaw, 486 U.S. 71 (1988) Crenshaw brought suit in Mississippi state court against Bankers Life & Casualty Co. for the tort of bad-faith refusal to pay an insurance claim The jury awarded Crenshaw $20,000 in compensatory damages and $1.6 million in punitive damages The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the jury verdict without modification Bankers Life filed a petition for rehearing, arguing that “[t]he punitive damage verdict was clearly excessive, not reasonably related to any legitimate purpose, constitutes excessive fine, and violates constitutional principles” On appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Bankers Life challenged the punitive damages award as a violation of the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment, the Due Process Clause, and the Contract Clause The U.S. Supreme Court held that “these claims were not raised and passed upon in state court,” and therefore it “decline[d] to reach them here” The Court explained that “[a] party may not preserve a constitutional challenge by generally invoking the Constitution in state court and awaiting review in this Court to specify the constitutional provision relied upon”; “the crucial language from the appellant’s petition contains no reference whatsoever to the Eighth Amendment, the Federal Constitution, or federal law” Assuming that the “not pressed and passed upon below” rule is merely prudential (and not jurisdictional), the Court declined to review the claims The “not pressed and passed upon below” rule is justified by two considerations: (1) comity to the states, and (2) the benefit of “a properly developed record on appeal” (percolation)
where the advantages of proceeding on a collective basis are substantial and sufficient steps have been taken to ensure adequacy of representation (i. 32 (1940) Posture Appeal from the Supreme Court of Illinois. to reduce or eliminate the risk of incompetence or disloyalty on the part of the class representative and/or his or her lawyer) Hansberry v. the Supreme Court of Illinois accepted an agreed statement of facts stipulating that 95% of the owners of frontage had signed. CLASS ACTIONS CLASS ACTION: a lawsuit in which the court authorizes a single person or a small group of people to represent the interests of a larger group. and sometimes unnotified. leased to or permitted to be occupied by any person of the colored race” Restrictive covenant became binding after the owners of 95% of the frontage signed Respondents were owners of land within the restricted area who either signed the agreement or acquired their land from others who did sign Petitioners Hansberry. they are permitted to proceed on behalf of the class members and to obtain a judgment binding on all members of the plaintiff class DEFENDANT: a suit brought by a plaintiff against individual named defendants as representatives of a defendant class The unique characteristic of a class action is that a determination made at the request of a representative of a group can be binding on members of the group who are absent. 311 U.. named plaintiffs are parties to the suit in their individual capacities. Burke v.e. the Illinois court thus upheld the validity of the covenant The Supreme Court of Illinois concluded that Burke was a “class” suit that bound other members of the class. in appropriate circumstances. Kleiman In Burke v. even though this was irrelevant. but they also sue in a representative capacity (i. including petitioners 74 .. Kleiman. the unnamed members of the class usually have no prior connection to the class representative and no advance opportunity to challenge the qualifications of those who undertake to speak on their behalf The law treats class actions as justified only in limited circumstances. as persons acting on behalf of the members of a class of similarly situated persons). who were black. Lee.Procedure VI. unnamed.S.e. also called a representative suit or action Types of class actions: PLAINTIFF: a suit brought by one or more plaintiffs who are individually named in the complaint. which concluded that petitioners were bound by a judgment rendered in an earlier “class” suit to which they were not parties Facts Landowners of an area in Chicago entered into an agreement stipulating that for a specified period no part of the land should be “sold. acquired land in the restricted area with the aid of other petitioners Petitioners argued that the restrictive covenant had never become effective because owners of 95% of the frontage had not signed it Respondents argued that the issue was res judicata by the decree in an earlier case.
may bind members of the class or those represented who were not made parties to it” “[T]here is a scope within the framework of the Constitution for holding in appropriate cases that a judgment rendered in a class suit is res judicata as to members of the class who are not formal parties to the suit” “[T]his Court is justified in saying that there has been a failure of due process only in those cases where it cannot be said that the procedure adopted. Kleiman could not represent those objecting to the enforcement of the covenant. to which some members of the class are parties. has deprived them of the due process of law guaranteed by the 14th A Holding The Supreme Court of Illinois deprived petitioners of the due process of law guaranteed by the 14th A. the judgment in a ‘class’ or ‘representative’ suit. it is impossible to say. and with due regard for the protection of the rights of absent parties which due process exacts. Kleiman) could not be adequate representatives of owners who wanted to sell or lease their property to blacks. to an extent not precisely defined by judicial opinion. fairly insures the protection of the interests of absent parties who are to be bound by it” “It is familiar doctrine of the federal courts that members of a class not present as parties to the litigation may be bound by the judgment where they are in fact adequately represented by parties who are present” “If those who thus seek to secure the benefits of the [restrictive] agreement were rightly regarded by the state Supreme Court as constituting a class. and that adequate representation is required by the Due Process Clause Influenced the content of 1966 amendments to Rule 23 In Hansberry. that class representatives must “adequately represent” absent class members. can some be permitted to stand in judgment for all” Significanc Applied the Due Process Clause to class actions for the first time e Established the foundation of modern class action law—namely. because they obviously were interested in achieving exactly the opposite outcome If the plaintiffs in Burke v. could the defendants have done so? The Hansberry Court notes that the defendants in Burke were not formally designated as a class 75 . solely because they are parties to it.Procedure Issue Whether the Supreme Court of Illinois. Nor without more. that any two of them are of the same class. it is evident that those signers or their successors who are interested in challenging the validity of the agreement and resisting performance are not of the same class” “Because of the dual and potentially conflicting interests of those who are putative parties to the agreement in compelling or resisting its performance. the Burkes (the plaintiffs in Burke v. petitioners are not bound by the decision in Burke Reasoning Opinion by Stone “It is a principle of general application in Anglo-American jurisprudence that one is not bound by a judgment in personam in litigation in which he is not designated as a party or to which he has not been made a party by service of process” “To these general rules there is a recognized exception that. by its adjudication that petitioners in this case are bound by a judgment rendered in an earlier litigation to which they were not parties.
. the class must not be defined to include representatives of groups of plaintiffs with sharply different interests. or would “as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests” of potential class members who have not brought individual suits (e. mandatory. and to certify subclasses when there is variation of claims or conflict among the members of the class Rule 23(d): gives considerable discretion to the District Judge to manage the class action effectively Rule 23(e): provides that class members must receive notice of any settlement and requires that the settlement be approved only after hearing and upon a finding that the settlement is fair Rule 23(f): allows an interlocutory appeal of a district judge’s certification decision if the Court of Appeals. mandatory. non-opt out When questions of law or fact common to the class “predominate” over questions affecting only individual class members.g. civil rights suits). and subclasses: allows a court to certify a class as to certain issues only. such that in representing their own interests they also represent the interests of the class members Fair and adequate protection of the interests of the class: the named party or parties must not have a conflict of interest with the members of the class. notice is mandatory and class members must be afforded the right to opt out of the class Rule 23(c): Critical decisions in managing the class action: Certification: requires court to determine whether the requirements for class action treatment have been satisfied and to appoint class counsel Notice: permits notice to class members under subsections (b)(1) and (b)(2) and requires it for class members of (b)(3) class who can be identified through reasonable effort Scope of judgment: requires court to specify precisely who are members of the class Restriction to certain issues. in that members of the properly certified class are not permitted to opt out of the action and under the rule are not entitled to notice of the filing of the action When the party opposing the class has “acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class.g.” decides to permit it 76 . the actual representation provided by the class attorney must be adequate Rule 23(b): 3 kinds of class actions: When individually prosecuted suits would result in “incompatible” (or inconsistent) standards of conduct for the non-class party. and the class action device is “superior” to other available methods of adjudication. “in its discretion. suits for injunctive or declaratory relief.” so that “final injunctive or corresponding declaratory relief” is “appropriate (e. and the “limited fund” suit)..Procedure Rule 23 Rule 23(a): 4 basic requirements of a class action: Numerosity: the class must be so numerous that joinder of all members as individual named parties is “impracticable” Commonality: there must be questions of law and fact common to the class Typicality: the claims or defenses of the named (“representative”) party or parties must be typical of those of the class as a whole.
mass-tort defendants began using settlement classes as a means of foreclosing claims by some unknown number of existing and future claimants. Windsor. during the 1980s and 1990s.S. might not manifest themselves for years or decades The settlement provided a schedule of compensation for certain injuries. if any. future victims wanted an inflation-protected fund for the future SETTLEMENT CLASS: numerous similarly situated people for whom a claimant's representative and an adversary propose a contract specifying the payment terms for the class members' claims in exchange for the release of all claims against the adversary. 591 (1997) The Court faced a “settlement” class action: asbestos victims and asbestos manufacturers settled the claims of thousands (perhaps millions) of asbestos victims Included in the settlement were not only those who had present injuries. 521 U.Procedure Rule 23(g): requires the court to make a formal appointment of class counsel on the basis of a finding that the counsel will fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class Amchem Products. but the amount of the compensation did not increase with time to account for inflation The Court invalidated the settlement on both Rule 23(a)(4) and other grounds The Court found that there were conflicts on interest within the class of asbestos victims Present victims wanted as much money as possible now. but also those who were presently healthy and whose injuries. “Very interesting. Inc. “We’re about to file suit” Putative defendants say. v. How settlement classes work: The representative parties reach a settlement before the action has commenced Putative plaintiffs call putative defendants and say. why don’t we talk?” Both sides work toward a consent decree that would resolve the issue as a legal matter CONSENT DECREE: a court decree that all parties agree to 77 .
and informal form of dispute resolution in which each party's attorney presents an abbreviated version of its case to a neutral third party and to the opponent's representatives. the judge ARBITRATION: method of dispute resolution involving one or more neutral third parties who are usually agreed to by the disputing parties and whose decision is binding Rationale for ADR Informality Interpersonal relationships Low cost Speed Personal growth and awareness Concerns about ADR Privatizes justice. (2) exposed to public view by court order. the third party may render an advisory opinion on the anticipated outcome of litigation. sometimes involves an “active persuader. process is confidential and nonbinding. protection of the public eye is lost 78 . also termed “rent-a-judging”. without the intervention of third parties MEDIATION: a method of nonbinding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR): a procedure for settling a dispute by means other than litigation Questions relevant to evaluating forms of ADR: Who resolves the disputes? By what standards is the dispute resolved? What is the binding effect of the resolution? Forms of ADR: NEGOTIATION: a consensual bargaining process in which the parties attempt to reach agreement on a disputed or potentially disputed matter. unlike arbitration. investigate.” who suggests terms on which the dispute might be resolved OMBUDSMAN: an official appointed to receive. (3) adjudicated only by a former judge. negotiation usually involves complete autonomy for the parties involved. voluntary. and (4) subject to appeal in the same manner as other trial verdicts. sometimes saves time and money PRIVATE JUDGING: a type of alternative dispute resolution whereby the parties hire a private individual to hear and decide a case. privately judged trials may be: (1) required to use the same rules of procedure and evidence used in ordinary litigation. who have settlement authority. this process may occur as a matter of contract between the parties or in connection with a statute authorizing such a process. and report on private citizens’ or nongovernmental organizations’ (such as companies’ or universities’) complaints about the government MINITRIAL: A private. private judging is essentially an ordinary bench trial except that the parties select.Procedure VII. and pay for.
but the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the dispute was not arbitrable and reversed the district court’s confirmation of the award The U. was arbitrable and filed objections with the arbitration panel The arbitrators decided that the dispute was arbitrable. should proceed like review of any other district court decision finding an agreement between parties.g. . and ruled in favor of First Options The federal district court confirmed the arbitration award in favor of First Options. “because the Kaplans did not clearly agree to submit the question of arbitrability to arbitration. (Fla. the parties clearly and unmistakably agreed that the arbitrator should decide whether the arbitration clause is valid” The Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s decision denying Terminix’s motion to compel arbitration 79 . e. Palmer Ranch Limited Partnership. a district court decision confirming an arbitration award on the ground that the parties agreed to submit their dispute to arbitration. including Rule 8. holding the arbitration agreement invalid The Court of Appeals ruled that.Procedure May hurt those who are less resourceful First Options of Chicago. LP v. Inc. Kaplan. accusing Terminix of fraud and negligence. accepting findings of fact that are not ‘clearly erroneous’ but deciding questions of law de novo” Terminix International Company.. 2005 WL 3445533 (11th Cir.S. into their agreement. v. the Court of Appeals was correct in finding that the arbitrability of the Kaplan/First Options dispute was subject to independent review by the courts” The Court further ruled that. “review of . 938 (1995) The Kaplans denied that their contract dispute with First Options of Chicago.S. . Supreme Court ruled that. Inc. “[b]y incorporating the AAA [American Arbitration Association] Rules. seeking to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) The district court denied Terminix’s motion to compel arbitration. 514 U.)) Palmer Ranch filed suit against Terminix. among other things Terminix filed suit in federal district court.