Monday, January 22, 2018

For Wednesday (both sections)

Monday audio--Section A, Section B. Also, a final reminder that unless you have a formal accommodation about which you have notified me or have otherwise received permission from me in advance, you may not leave the room once class has begun.

We continue and should finish Rule 11 and Honesty in Pleading. What was the state of the law at the time Roth filed his complaint in state court and why was the claim frivolous? How can an attorney in Mulhern's position (asserting a claim barred by existing law, but wanting to set up a challenge to that law in a court that cannot itself make the new law) avoid sanctions? Why else was this claim frivolous? Review all of FRCP 11 to understand what can be sanctioned and how sanctions are sought? Was FRCP 11 followed here? If not, why was Mulhern sanctioned? What are the purposes of sanctions? What is the difference between FRCP 11 and § 1927?

Then move to Responding to a Complaint: Motions. Look at Rules 3, 4 (which was not on the syllabus), 7, 12(a), and 12(b). From these rules, think through what a plaintiff does with the complaint and what a defendant can or should do in response. A dismissal can be "with prejudice" or "without prejudice"--what do you think those terms might mean?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Updated Essay Assignment--Section B

After the jump is the list of Essay assignments, arranged by Blind ID # (make sure you get your new spring Blind ID and do not rely on the one from last semester). Make sure you figure out the correct essay. If you write on the wrong topic, you will not receive credit.

There are nine (9) topics, with 5-7 people will be assigned to each one. The problem will be posted a few days after completion of a topic and essays are due at the beginning of class one week after the problem is posted (so everyone will have a full weekend to work with). I try to work around LSV assignments, but some overlap is inevitable. I will provide everyone with regular updates and guideposts.

The first essay will be on Rule 11.

Updated Essay Assignments--Section A

After the jump is the list of Essay assignments, arranged by Blind ID # (make sure you get your new spring Blind ID and do not rely on the one from last semester). Make sure you figure out the correct essay. If you write on the wrong topic, you will not receive credit.

There are nine (9) topics, with 5-7 people will be assigned to each one. The problem will be posted a few days after completion of a topic and essays are due at the beginning of class one week after the problem is posted (so everyone will have a full weekend to work with). I try to work around LSV assignments, but some overlap is inevitable. I will provide everyone with regular updates and guideposts.

The first essay will be on Rule 11.

Friday, January 19, 2018

For Monday

Friday audio--Section A, Section B.

We will have a few last words on Joinder and the two limits on plaintiff's right as master of the complaint. Look at Rule 42 and the readings on issue and claim preclusion in Glannon, 459-511. What is the difference between consolidation and joinder? How does claim preclusion affect the use of FRCP 18(a)? If VOA sued BSO only on its contract claims and lost, could it then bring a second action against BSO for copyright infringement? Imagine Naturo sued Slater and the court determined that non-human animals lack rights under the Copyright Act--how would that affect a second lawsuit by Naruto against Blurb?

Then move to Rule 11 and Honesty in Pleading; in addition to what is on the syllabus, review FRCP 5 and 7(b). Also, please note that Rule 11 was renumbered in 2010, subsequent to Roth. So the numbers of the rules referenced in the case have changed. How does Rule 11 explain ¶¶ 68-70 in the VOA Complaint?  What is the drawback to the forgiving rules the FRCP adopt for initiating a lawsuit? What parts of 11(b) did Roth violate and how? Look closely at 11(c) to understand the process for seeking sanctions and what they should be.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

For Friday

Wednesday audio-Section A, Section B.

I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to read the rule and talk about the rule in terms of its text, especially when writing an essay answer. Don't shortcut or summarize or go from memory.

Again, rules should be written (including parentheses) and spoken as follows: #(l.c.)(#)(cap.)(romanette): So: 20(a)(2)(B) or 26(b)(1)(C)(i).

We continue with Joinder. Can all 5 defendants in Godin be joined? Can Krista's loss of consortium claim be joined under R. 20 in Morgan? What about her products liability claim? How do 18(a) and 20(a) interact to determine whether she can bring the products claim or not? What Smith, the driver who was injured a week earlier when struck on a different stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike by a different driver for Wal Mart and Wal Mart Transport? What is the potential problem for VOA in bringing its contract and copyright claims and how does it address that in ¶¶ 68-74 of the complaint? Are those paragraphs necessary under Rule 8(d)?

We will finish Joinder by considering several ways in which the plaintiff's choice under Rules 18 and 20 are limited; look at Rules 19, 24(a), and 42.

Then move to Rule 11, including the 1983 and 1993 legislative history.


Blind IDs

Are now available. You will need them for essays, which will be assigned next week.

Friday, January 12, 2018

For Wednesday (both sections)

Friday audio: Section A, Section B. I reiterate that you must have the documents and the rules with you in class--you cannot learn this material any other way.

No class Monday for MLK Day; enjoy your long weekend.

We continue with Joinder of Parties and Claims, read and review everything assigned. What is the difference between FRCP 18(a) and 20(a), in application and textual requirements? Why permit broad joinder of parties and claims--what are the benefits and drawbacks? How do FRCP 18(a) and 20(a) affect the structure of our four lawsuits--what role does each rule play in the Complaint? Do the Complaints, as drafted, satisfy FRCP 18(a) and 20(a)? Be ready to analyze each under the applicable standard.

Consider one hypothetical change in Morgan. Suppose Krista Millea bought a toaster oven from Wal Mart that was defective and wants to sue for damages? Could she bring that claim in the same lawsuit? Does your answer change depending on whether Krista has her actual Loss of Consortium claim?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Summons Forms

Colleagues,

Glancing over sample summons forms can provide insight into the process a plaintiff must undergo to provide notice to a defendant. 

The following website contains sample summons forms that can be filled in. http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/forms



Alex Cabrera

For Friday (Both Sections)

Wednesday audio: Section A, Section B. Be sure you have all assigned rules and documents with you in class. Work with primary sources; don't rely on your memory or your notes.

We continue with Introduction to Pleading. How many claims are in each case and what are they? What is the consequence of each claim being bilateral (1 plaintiff, 1 defendant, 1 right) and separate? Examine each pleading and see how it conforms with the requirements of FRCP 8(a), (d), (e) and FRCP 10. What is the purpose of the Complaint, for the court and for the parties? Given that we are an adversary system, how does the plaintiff want to draft the complaint?

We then move to Joinder. For Friday, focus on FRCP 8, 18, and 20. What is the difference between joinder of claims under FRCP 18 and joinder of parties under FRCP 20? What work are Rule 18 and Rule 20 doing in each of our cases?


Local Rules for the Southern District of Florida

Hey all,

I was wondering where someone would find local rules from a federal district. Are they just attached to the federal rules, or do judges make their own separate documents?

The local rules for the Southern District of Florida can be found here: http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2017-Local-Rules.pdf

One example of a local rule is the Cover Sheet Requirement (Rule 3.3) when filing a complaint.

In this document you can also find rules that have been repealed or relocated.

Monday, January 8, 2018

For Wednesday (Section B)

Monday audio.

We pick-up with the difference between original and appellate jurisdiction. If not every decision a trial court makes is "final," what is the consequence for lawyers, parties, and the litigation process? What is the difference between exclusive jurisdiction and concurrent jurisdiction (see § 1338(a))? Review the Rules Enabling Act (§§ 2072-2074) and be ready to discuss how the rulemaking process works.

Then move to Introduction to Pleading. Review the four complaints to see how they conform to the rules governing the structure of pleadings. Be ready to give a brief (20 second) summary of each case and the issues in the case. The Federal Rules are described as being "transsubstantive"--what does that mean?

Because of some faculty obligations, class will end 10 minutes early (at 11:30) on Wednesday. We will make the time up in a future class.

For Wednesday (Section A)

Monday audio.

We pick-up with the difference between original and appellate jurisdiction. If not every decision a trial court makes is "final," what is the consequence for lawyers, parties, and the litigation process? What is the difference between exclusive jurisdiction and concurrent jurisdiction (see § 1338(a))? Review the Rules Enabling Act (§§ 2072-2074) and be ready to discuss how the rulemaking process works.

Then move to Introduction to Pleading. Review the four complaints to see how they conform to the rules governing the structure of pleadings. Be ready to give a brief (20 second) summary of each case and the issues in the case. The Federal Rules are described as being "transsubstantive"--what does that mean?

Because of some faculty obligations, class will end 10 minutes early (at 11:30) on Wednesday. We will make the time up in a future class.