Friday, March 24, 2017

Efficiency and the Well-Pleaded Complaint Rule

Following class today, Josh offered an important insight on Mottley and the Well-Pleaded Complaint Rule: It is really inefficient. SCOTUS had the case the first time, sent the Mottleys to go all the way through the state system, only to come back several years later for SCOTUS to reach the merits of the defense. Does that make sense from an efficiency standpoint?

A couple of responses, just on inefficiency:

1) Mottley itself was inefficient, but not the W/P/C in all cases. Once Mottley established the W/P/C, that inefficiency disappears, because the parties to the next Mottley-type case know they have to file in state court rather than federal court. Otherwise, the only inefficiency is adding an additional layer before parties are able to get into a federal forum.

2) Efficiency cuts in both directions--the W/P/C also promotes efficiency, by allowing the court to decide jurisdiction early and quickly, based only on the complaint.

3) Efficiency is not the only value. The docket-control benefits can reasonably prevail over the efficiency benefits. This is a policy debate, to which there is not necessarily a correct answer.

Worth thinking about.

Essay VI (Due Wednesday, March 29)


Kuttner v. Zaruba

Susan Kuttner, a former deputy sheriff in DuPage County, Illinois, filed suit in federal court against Sheriff John Zaruba. The single claim alleges that she was fired because of her sex, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination because of sex in employment.

For Monday--Section A

Friday audio. Prelim Exam due at beginning of class Monday. Essay VI will be posted shortly.

We continue with Supplemental Jurisdiction and the fundamental problem case of a mix of federal and state claims between non-diverse parties (as in Godin). Think about the bases for jurisdiction over all the different claims in VOA and Godin. Is § 1367 satisfied in Godin? In VOA? What is the connection between the standard for joinder under the rules and the standard for jurisdiction in § 1367? What was going on in Exxon/Ortega? How does § 1367(b) interact with the requirements of § 1332?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

For Monday--Section C

Wednesday audio. Preliminary Exam due at the beginning of class Monday. Essay VI will be posted on Friday.

We have a few final words on Overview. What is the rule on exclusive v. concurrent jurisdiction? How does § 1338(a) illustrate that? When was subject matter jurisdiction raised and argued in Mas and in Belleville--was that timing permissible?

For Monday, prepare all of Diversity Jurisdiction. Consider:
   • Compare the text of Art. III § 2 with the text of § 1332.
   • What are the purposes of diversity jurisdiction?
   • What is the difference between complete diversity and minimal diversity? What is required by § 1332? What is required by Article III? And why does it make a difference?
   • What are the policy reasons for requiring complete rather than minimal diversity? What are the problems with that argument?
   • Where was Mrs. Mas from and why? What is the difference between complete and minimal diversity?
   • How are entities treated for diversity purposes and why are the each treated this way?
   • What is the policy behind the exception clause in § 1332(a)(2)?
   • Review the allegations of diversity jurisdiction in Wal Mart and VOA Was diversity jurisdiction alleged correctly? Why or why not? 

We weil get to Federal Question Jurisdiction for Friday and Supplemental Jurisdiction for our make-up class on Saturday, April 1.

For Friday--Section A

Wednesday audio.

Read and review all of Federal Question Jurisdiction. Again, note the Glannon's reading on the difference in meaning of "arising under" between § 1331 and Article III. We left off on the question of when and why we need jurisdictional grants other than § 1331--do they still play a role? What is the purpose of "arising under" federal question jurisdiction? What is the "Well-Pleaded Complaint" Rule and how does it operate? If the Mottleys cannot sue in federal district court, what should they do? And how do they get a federal forum for any federal issues? Under Mims, what is the core meaning of "arising under" for § 1331 purposes?

Because I think we will get there, start Supplemental Jurisdiction. Just for Friday, read Glannon p. 261-69 and 275-79, along with § 1367 (focusing on subpart (a) and (c) and Jones. Think about the bases for jurisdiction over all the different claims in VOA and Godin.

When a golf course is like a cruise line

When is a golf course like a cruise line? When it comes to civil procedure of course!

Yesterday, as part of LSV II requirements, I attended the oral arguments for TRUMP ENDEAVOR 12 LLC,  vs.  FERNICH, INC. D/B/A THE PAINT SPOT.

Daily Business Review summary here:  here http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202769742287/Paint-Contractor-Wins--Award-Against-Trump-Resort. 

Paint contractor The Paint Spot (plaintiff in original complaint and appellee) claims that President Trump's Doral golf club (defendant and appellant) did not pay the last $34k of a $130k paint bill as part of the renovations of the "Blue Monster" golf course. Paint Spot won in lower court and at one point there was a foreclosure auction sale scheduled for the golf club.

The appellant's main claim was that  the appellee had failed to provide timely notice of a lien to the correct party.  The Paint Spot's attorney argued that since the incorrect party had been provided by the defendant, Paint Spot had substantially performed.  Trump's attorney countered that once the error had been discovered, Trump had notified Paint Spot of the correct party, with Paint Spot confirming via email that it would serve the correct party, but never did.  Paint Spot's attorney emphasized that despite this error, Trump had treated Paint Spot as though it had filed with the correct party, even asking for lien waivers in order to partially pay Paint Spot.

The key differences in this case versus  Krupski v Costar Cruise Lines is that: (a) the defendant informed the plaintiff of the mistake, (b) the plaintiff never corrected the mistake, and (c) the defendant treated the incorrect notice as though it was valid for at least 9 months.

This $34k dispute is now almost $300k with attorney fees.

John Voss
Section C

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Clarification on Green Card Holders--Section A

Clarifying Monday's discussion about the exception for Green Card holders in § 1332(a)(2):

A non-U.S. citizen, regardless of immigration status, is treated as a citizen or subject of a foreign state for all statutory purposes. So A (Cuba) v. X (Ven) is an action between citizens or subjects of a foreign state and not within § 1332. And A (Cuba) v. X (GA) is an action between a citizen of a state and a citizen or subject of a foreign state, which would satisfy § 1332(a)(2). None of that changes if A is admitted for lawful permanent residence and domiciled in Florida.

What the exception clause in § 1332(a)(2) does is simply exclude from that subsection one particular action between a citizen of a state and citizen or subject of a foreign state--where the citizen of the foreign state is admitted for lawful permanent residence. Then, the statute requires an additional inquiry--is he domiciled in the same state as the opposing party. If he is, the case is not within the jurisdictional grant; if he is not, the case is within the jurisdictional grant.

Thus, A (Cuba/FL) v. X (FL) is not within § 1332(a)(2) because of the exception, but A (Cuba/FL) v. X (GA) is within § 1332(a)(2). But the latter case would not be under (a)(1) because A is not treated as a citizen of FL.

Monday, March 20, 2017

For Wednesday--Section C

Monday audio--Part I, Part II.

We continue with Young and the slightly different approach the Court took to the burden-shifting framework in an accommodation case. What evidence was there on each of the points in the framework? We then have a few wrap-up points on summary judgment, looking at the 7th Amendment and FRCP 56(f) and (g). What happens if summary judgment is granted in full? What if denied or granted only in part?

We then shift our attention to questions of forum-selection--where a case will be heard. This will also give content and detail to some rules that we already have discussed, such as 12(b)(1)-(3)--we now will discuss the legal rules that govern such motions and such issues.

We start with Subject Matter Jurisdiction. Prepare Overview of Federal Jurisdiction, looking at the jurisdictional allegations in our sample pleadings. Then move to Diversity Jurisdiction. Consider:
   • What are the purposes of diversity jurisdiction?
   • What is the difference between complete diversity and minimal diversity? What is required by § 1332? What is required by Article III? And why does it make a difference?
   • What are the policy reasons for requiring complete rather than minimal diversity? What are the problems with that argument?
• Where was Mrs. Mas from and why? What is the difference between complete and minimal diversity?
   • How are entities treated for diversity purposes?
   • What is the policy behind the exception clause in § 1332(a)(2)?
   • Review the allegations of diversity jurisdiction in Wal Mart and VOA Was diversity jurisdiction alleged correctly? Why or why not?

For Wednesday--Section A

Monday audio. Prelim Exam posted earlier; due at the beginning of class on Monday. Essay VI will be posted on Friday, due at the beginning of class next Wednesday, March 29.

We continue with Diversity Jurisdiction. In addition to the cases assigned, download Americold from the blog. Consider who domicile is determined for all types of business corporations. What is the "Nerve Center" and why did the Hertz Court adopt that as the definition of principal place of business? Look at the jurisdictional statements in the complaints in Morgan and VOA; are there problems with the way either alleged diversity jurisdiction? Break down the jurisdiction problems in Belleville and Zambelli. Review FRCP 19(a) and (b). What can/should happen when a party in the case destroys complete diversity?

We then turn to Federal Question Jurisdiction. For Wednesday, read the statutory provisions, Mottley, and the assigned portions in Glannon; note Glannon's discussion of the different meaning of "arising under" for § 1331 and Article III. What is the purpose of "arising under" federal question jurisdiction? What is the "Well-Pleaded Complaint" Rule and how does it operate?

Finally, note that we will not have class on Friday, April 14. We will do an advance make-up in a double session on Friday, March 31 (a week from this Friday).

Preliminary Exam--Both Sections

Here. Due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 27.

Good luck.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sample Discovery Documents

So you have a sense of what these look like, three interrogatories and a production request: Here, here, and here. In addition, here is a Response to Request for Admissions in Michael Brown's lawsuit against the City of Ferguson.

Friday, March 10, 2017

For Monday after break--Section A

Friday audio. Have a good break.

Preliminary Exam will be posted on Monday, March 20 and due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 27. Essay VI will be posted on Friday, March 24 and due on Wednesday, March 29.

I realized after class that I did not assign Belleville for today; read it to see how subject matter jurisdiction came up.

We continue with Diversity Jurisdiction. Read the entire section.

   • What is the difference between complete diversity and minimal diversity? What is required by § 1332? What is required by Article III? And why does it make a difference?
   • What are the policy reasons for requiring complete rather than minimal diversity? What are the problems with that argument? 
   • Where was Mrs. Mas from and why? What is the difference between complete and minimal diversity?
   • How are entities treated for diversity purposes?
   • What is the policy behind the exception clause in § 1332(a)(2)?
   • Review the allegations of diversity jurisdiction in Wal Mart and VOA? Was diversity jurisdiction alleged correctly? Why or why not?


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

For Friday--Section A

Wednesday audio.

The Preliminary Exam will be posted on Monday, March 20 and due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 27. Details can be found on the Syllabus. Essay VI will be posted on Friday, March 24 and due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, March 29.

On Friday, we will wrap the discussion of Summary Judgment. Look at FRCP 56(f) and (g). What happens if summary judgment is granted in full? What if denied or granted only in part?

We then shift our attention to questions of forum-selection--where a case will be heard. This will also give content and detail to some rules that we already have discussed, such as 12(b)(1)-(3)--we now will discuss the legal rules that govern such motions and such issues.

We start with Subject Matter Jurisdiction. Prepare Overview of Federal Jurisdiction, looking at the jurisdictional allegations in our sample pleadings. Then move to Diversity Jurisdiction; for Friday, look at § 1332(a), § 1369, Mas, and the entire Glannon's reading. Consider:
   • What are the purposes of diversity jurisdiction?
   • What is the difference between complete diversity and minimal diversity? What is required by § 1332? What is required by Article III? And why does it make a difference?
   • What are the policy reasons for requiring complete rather than minimal diversity? What are the problems with that argument?