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MBE: Final Review > Federal Civil Procedure > Flashcards

Flashcards in Federal Civil Procedure Deck (40):

Supplemental Jurisdiction: Rule + Exception

Claim must arise from a common nucleus of operative fact
• aka claim arises from same T/O as underlying case

Exception - no supp. juris if:
1. Brought by P
2. Diversity case
3. Asserted against co-citizen of P


May punitive damages be considered when assessing AiC?



• Test
• Corporate D: Residency Rules
• What result if no district in US satisfies test?

Any district where:
1. Any D resides if all Ds reside in the same state AND

2. Substantial part of events giving rise to COA occurred

Corp D
• Place of Incorporation
• Principal Place of Biz
• Sufficient contacts to justify PJ for that action

note - if there is no district in the US that satisfies 1 or 2, the action may be brought in a judicial district in which any D is subject to that court's PJ


When must a D challenge PJ?

Pre-answer motion or in the answer itself, provided that the objection is asserted in the D's FIRST response
• otherwise waived!


Forum Non Conveniens (2)

1. An available foreign court
2. Adequate court (private/public factors)


Service of Process: Substituted Service

1. Copy of summons and complaint at dwelling or usual abode
2. With someone of suitable age and discretion who resides there (need not be family member)


Service of Process: General Rule

Federal Rules allow service of process to be made as provided by the rules of the state in which:
1. The fed court sits OR
2. Service is to be effected


Counterclaim: Third Party Defendant

A third party defendant MAY assert a claim against the plaintiff if the claim arises from the same T/O as the plaintiff's original claim

• note - a third party defendant may also assert the claim in an independent action if it prefers


Third Party Claim: General Rule

A defendant can't assert a third party claim against another party unless they are seeking to obtain recovery
• that recovery must be for the defendant third party's own liability to the original plaintiff



Allows a person in a position of a stakeholder to require two or more claimants to litigate among themselves to determine which if any has the valid claim where separate actions might result in double liability on a single obligation

Two Types
1. Rule Interpleader
2. Statutory Interpleader


Rule Interpleader

Arises when:
1. Federal question OR
2. Complete diversity b/t stakeholder and claimaints, and AiC must exceed $75K


Statutory Interpleader

Arises when:
1. The AiC is $500 or more AND
2. Diversity b/t any two contending claimaints


Rule 12(b): First Response or Answer (otherwise waived)

Lack of PJ
Insufficient Process
Insufficient Service of Process
Improper Venue


Which 12(b) response may be waived anytime?

Lack of SMJ


Discovery: Scope

Any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense, as long as the info being sought may reasonably lead to admissible evidence
• but not required the info be admissible at trial


Discovery: Mandatory Disclosure

A party must provide:
1. Names of individuals likely to have discoverable information
2. The subjects of that information that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses


Work-Product Doctrine

Qualified immunity from discovery unless the opposing party can show (1) substantial need and (2) that he can't obtain the materials in an alternative way without undue hardship


What result if you disregard a granted motion to compel discovery?



What result if you obey a granted motion to compel discovery?

Court costs and reasonable expenses


Jury Demand
• General Rule
• Filing Rule

Any party can file a jury demand, but ALL parties must agree to withdraw one

Filing Rule: must file written demand with the court and serve the parties w/in 14 days after service of the LAST pleading directed to a jury-triable issue
• otherwise, waived!


Special Verdict: Objecting to Instructions

Rule: A party waives objections to the form of the questions if they don't object when the questions are given to the jury


Summary Judgment
• Standard
• Timing Rule

Standard: Grant when there's no genuine dispute of material fact

Appropriate at any time until 30 days after the close of discovery


Default Judgment

A defendant against whom a default is entered loses the right to contest liability unless the entry of default is set aside.

Amount of damages must still be determined before a default judgment may be entered. Default party:
• May be heard at the hearing for damages
• Entitled to notice (first-class mail) at least 7 days before the hearing, provided he appeared in the case in some fashion)

Note - a clerk of court may enter default judgment only if the amt of damages is certain


Class Actions: Certification
• District Court
• Appeal

When a district court enters an order granting or denying certification, that order may be appealed w/in 14 days of entry.

Class certification is immediately appealable


Renewed Judgment as a Matter of Law

Arises when a party against whom a judgment is entered claims that the judgment was based on a verdict that reasonable people couldn't have reached
• Prerequisite: must have previously filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law during the trial



Trial judge believes that a jury award is so excessive that it "shocks the conscience"

Court may offer P:
• A lower award OR
• New trial


Res Judicata (Claim Preclusion)

Once a final judgment on the merits has been rendered on a particular COA, the claimaint may not assert that same COA in a later lawsuit
1. Final judgment on the merits in Case 1
2. Same configuration (same P against same D) AND
3. Same COA (same T/O)


Collateral Estoppel (Issue Preclusion)

In a previous lawsuit b/t P and D, any judgments that occurred binds them in subsequent actions on different COA as to issues actually litigated and essential to the judgment in the first case
1. Issue was actually litigated
2. Same configuration (same P against same D)
3. Issues was essential in Case 1
4. Against someone who was a party in Case 1
5. Non-mutual defense

Note - growing trend that non-mutual offensive is OK


Erie Doctrine

In diversity cases, fed court must apply the substantive law of the state in which the court sits, but usually still applies federal procedural law - as long as the fed law is on point and valid

A fed law is valid and not unconst'l if it:
1. Deals w/ practice and procedure AND
2. Doesn't abridge, enlarge, or modify a substantive right

IF NO FED LAW ON POINT, fed ct must determine whether the state issue is substantive or procedural
• Substantive --> MUST apply state law
(i) presumption/element of a claim or defense
(ii) SOL and rules for tolling
• Procedural --> MAY ignore state law

• Outcome determinative test - an issue is substantive if it substantially affects the outcome of the case
• Forum shopping test - use state law if not doing so would cause litigates to flock to fed ct



Compulsory if the arise from the same T/O as the claim asserted against the pleading party



Permissive (not compulsory)

Rule: May bring against co-party if the claim arises from the same T/O as that of the original action or counterclaim

Exception: once the party has filed a cross-claim, he may also join with it any other claim that he has against the same party


Default Judgment: Collateral Attack

A defendant may challenge a default judgment if he never appeared in the action at all
• applies to constitutionally defective and procedurally defective default judgments

Ex of procedurally defective - improper service of process
• first-class mail


Service of Process
• Basic Options (3)
• Alternatives (2)
• What is not ok?

Basic Options:
1. Personal Service
2. Substituted Service (abode + suitable age of rez)
3. D's authorized agent

1. State rules
2. Mail (under the waiver of service provisions of 4(d))

Not ok: First-Class Mail


Pleading: Particularity Standard

Fraud or mistake or special damages claims


• Filing Rule
• Diversity as Basis for Removal (3 rules)

Filing Rule: D has 30 days from receipt of initial summons or complaint

Diversity as Basis for Removal:
• No removal if one D is a citizen of the forum state
• D has 30 days to remove after learning case is removable
• But can't remove if more than 1 yr after case filed


Do federal courts hear domestic relations cases?

No (not divorce, alimony, or child custody)


Joinder: Additional Claims

If a party properly files a counterclaim or cross claim, he may join an additional claim EVEN IF that claim has nothing to do w/ the others
• but SMJ req't


Can a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim be raised at trial?



Enforceability of Judgments
• When do they become enforceable?
• What legal effect?

Become enforceable 14 days after judgment is rendered
• exception: injunction or receiverships

Effect: Remains enforceable during pendency of post-trial motions (unless court orders otherwise for the sake of the adverse party


When may default judgments be set aside? (6)

1. Mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect
2. Newly discovered evidence that by due diligence couldn't have been discovered in time to move for a new trial
3. Fraud or misrepresentation by an adverse party
4. Judgment is void
5. Judgment has been released, satisfied, or discharged
6. Any other reason justifying relief from the operation of judgment