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103 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Three Types of Personal Jurisdiction
(1) In Personam Jurisdiction
(2) In Rem Jurisdiction
(3) Quasi In Rem Jurisdiction
In Personam Jurisdiction
Exists when the forum has power over the person of a particular defendant.
In Rem Jurisdiction
Exists when the court has power to adjudicate the rights of all persons in the world with respect to a particular item of property. Limited to situations where the property is located within the physical borders of the state and where it is necessary for the state to be able to bind all persons regarding the property's ownership and use. This occurs with respect to actions for condemnation (eminent domain), forfeiture of property to the state, and settlement of decedents' estates.
Quasi In Rem Jurisdiction
One type exists when the court has power to determine whether particular individuals own specific property within the court's control. Unlike in rem jurisdiction, however, it doesn't permit a court to determine the right of all persons in the world regarding that property.

A second type of quasi in rem jurisdiction permits the court to adjudicate disputes other than ownership based on the presence of the defendant's property in the forum.
Four Situations Where Most States Grant Their Courts In Personam Jurisdiction
(1) Where defendant is present in the forum state and is personally served with process;
(2) Where the defendant is domiciled in the forum state;
(3) Where the defendant consents to jurisdiction; and
(4) Where the defendant has committed acts bringing him within the forum state's long arm statutes.
Refers to the place where person maintains her permanent home. A U.S. citizen, even when domiciled abroad, is subject to personal jurisdiction in the U.S.
Consent to Jurisdiction
Express consent - by contract, by appointment of agent to accept service of process

Implied consent - engaging in activity that state has substantial reason to regulate (a non-resident driving in the state)

May consent by voluntary appearance
Long Arm Statutes
Most states have long arm statutes that specify in detail the situations in which their courts can exercise jurisdiction (tortious act within the state, transaction of business within the state, arises from ownership of property within the state, married couple that last lived in that state)

A few (such as California) have unlimited long arm statutes.
Sufficient Contacts with the Forum (Constitutional Limitations on In Personam Jurisdiction)
Traditional Rule: Jurisdiction over a person was a consequence of the state's physical power to carry out its judgment.

Modern Due Process Standard: International Shoe changed the traditional rule. The focus is now whether sufficient minimum contacts exist between the defendant and the forum so that maintenance of the suit against the defendant doesn't offend "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice."
Factors by Which to Assess the Constitutionality of Personal Jurisdiction
(1) Contacts: (a) Purposeful availament, (b) Foreseeability.
(2) Fairness: (a) Relatedness of claim to contact, (b) convenience, (c) forum state's interest, (d) miscellaneous other factors.
Defendants, Michigan residents, entered into a franchise contract with a Florida corporation. The agreement required, among other things, that fees be sent to the franchiser's home office in Florida, and provided that Florida law would govern any dispute. Could the defendants be sued in Florida?
Yes - their contact with Florida resulted from their purposeful availment of that state.
Father, in New York, agreed to give up custody of Daughter to Mother in California. Mother sued Father in California for additional support. Father's only contact with California was letting Daughter go there. Would California have in personam jurisdiction against Father?
No, because Father could not be said to have purposefully availed himself of the benefits and protections of California law.
Defendant, a New York car dealer, was sued in Oklahoma based on an injury that Plaintiff received from an accident in Oklahoma. The only basis for jurisdiction over Defendant was the sale of the allegedly defective car in New York by Defendant, who knew no more than that any vehicle sold might be driven elsewhere. Does Oklahoma have in personam jurisdiction?
No, because no purposeful availment of of the privileges or protections of Oklahoma.
Purposeful Availment
Defendant's contact with the forum must result from her purposeful availment with that forum - can't be accidental. Must reach out to the forum in some way, such as to make money there or use the roads there. Courts must find that through these contacts the defendant purposefully availed herself "of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws."
"Stream of Commerce" Cases
Situation where something is manufactured in State A by Defendant1 and sold to Defendant2 in State B, who uses them in its products and sells them in States C, D, and E. If a Plaintiff is injured by Defendant1's part in State E, did Defendant1 purposely avail himself of State E? Hasn't been resolved definitively. Some say that by knowing it would be sold in that state, you did. Others say it takes more than that.
Due Process requires that a reasonable method be used to notify the defendant of a pending lawsuit so that she may have an opportunity to appear and be heard. Notice must be "reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections."
In Rem Jurisdiction Constitutional Limitations
Nexus: In in rem actions, the basis of jurisdiction is the presence of the property in the state. The state has great interest in adjudicating the rights of all the world regarding this property. Therefore, the presence of the property in the state is constitutionally sufficient for the exercise of jurisdiction over the property. Exercise of in rem power is prohibited when the property is brought into the state by fraud or force.

Notice: Early view was that the attachment of property, when supplemented by publication of notice in a local newspaper or posting of notice on the property, would give all interested persons sufficient notice. However, such procedures no longer adequate. Those persons whose interests are affected and whose addresses are known must be at least notified by ordinary mail.
Diversity of Citizenship Jurisdiction
Federal courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between:
(1) citizens of different states;
(2) citizens of a state and citizens or subjects of a foreign state;
(3) citizens of different states and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties; and
(4) a foreign state ... as plaintiff and citizens of a state or of different states.
Corporate Citizenship
A corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of any state by which it has been incorporated and of the state where it has its principle place of business.
For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, "states" includes...
Territories, District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
A, B, and C bring an action against X, Y, and Z. A and B are citizens of New York. X and Y are citizens of Florida. C and Z are citizens of Texas. Will there be diversity jurisdiction?
No - because there is no COMPLETE diversity. For complete diversity, no defendant and plaintiff can be co-citizens of the same state.
D and E bring an action against F, G, and H. D and E are from Kansas, and F, G, and H are from Missouri. Will there be diversity jurisdiction?
Yes - no plaintiff has the same citizenship as any defendant, so there is complete diversity.
Interpleader Diversity Requirements
Federal Interpleader Statute requires less diversity. As long as there is diversity between ANY TWO claimants, all others may be the citizens of the same state and diversity jurisdiction will still arise.

However, interpleader pursuant to Rule 22 of the Federal Rules requires usual diversity requirements.
"Alienage" Jurisdiction
Grants subject matter jurisdiction over "alienage" cases, in which the dispute is between a citizen of a state, on the one hand, and an "alien" - meaning a citizen or subject of a foreign country.
When must diversity of citizenship (or alienage) exist?
At the time the suit is initiated - need not exist at the time the cause of action arose, and will not be defeated if, after the suit is initiated, a party becomes a citizen of the same state as an opponent party.
Citizenship of an Individual
Domicile = citizenship.

A new state citizenship may be established by (1) physical presence in a new place, and (2) the intention to remain there.

Citizenship of a child is that of her parents.
Principle Place of Business
If a corporation has its executive offices in one state and its physical operation wholly or predominantly in another state, the PPB is the state where physical operations are conducted.

Whenever the corporation performs its operational activities in many states, the courts have typically applied a "home office" or "nerve center" test and held that the PPB is the state where the executive offices are located.
Ancillary "Supplemental" Jurisdiction
The court may entertain claims joined that could not, by themselves, invoke federal question jurisdiction or diversity jurisdiction, under this doctrine, if they arise from a common nucleus of operative fact as the claim that invoked federal jurisdiction.
Amount in Controversy
Good faith is presumed.

Supreme Court has held that the collateral effects of a judgment may not be considered.

Excludes interests and costs.

If punitive damages allowed, the amounts sought may be used in making the dollar amount requirement, because there is no legal certainty that the amount will not be recovered.

May not aggregate claims not based on joint liability.
Erie Doctrine
A federal court, in the exercise of its diversity jurisdiction, is required to apply the substantive law of the state in which it is sitting, including that state's conflict of law rules. However, the federal courts apply federal procedural law in diversity cases.
Exceptions to Diversity Jurisdiction
Federal Court will not take jurisdiction in Domestic Relations proceedings and Probate proceedings.
Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act of 2002
The Act grants jurisdiction to federal district courts of civil actions that (1) arise "from a single accident, (2) where at least 75 natural persons have died in the accident (3) at a discrete location." All that is required is that at least ONE plaintiff be of different citizenship than at least ONE defendant. Also, one of three other conditions must be satisfied: either (1) a defendant "resides" in a different state from where a "substantial part" of the accident took place (even if the defendant also resides where it took place); (2) any two defendants "reside" in different states; or (3) substantial parts of the accident took place in different states.

Act provides for nationwide service of process.
Federal Question Jurisdiction
The federal courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the U.S.
Federal Question Must Appear in the Complaint
Must appear as part of the Plaintiff's cause of action as set out in a well-pleaded complaint. Must be as such that the defendant's answer or defense is irrelevant - cannot anticipate a defense to make it a federal question.
Pendent (Supplemental) Jurisdiction Over State Claims
This is the situation where the plaintiff will have both federal and state claims against the defendant. Although there may be no diversity, the federal court has discretion to exercise pendent jurisdiction over the state claim if the two claims "derive from a common nucleus of operative fact" and are such that a plaintiff "would ordinarily be expected to try them all in one judicial proceeding."
Pendent Parties Jurisdiction
Relevant in cases in which the plaintiff sues more than one defendant, there is federal jurisdiction over the claim against one defendant, and the claim against the 2nd defendant does not invoke federal jurisdiction.
Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction
(1) Bankruptcy proceedings
(2) Patent and copyright cases
(3) Many cases where the U.S. is involved
(4) Cases with Consuls and Vice-Consuls as defendants
(5) Antitrust cases
(6) Admiralty cases
(7) Foreign state
(8) Postal matters
(9) Internal revenue
(10) Securities Exchange Act
Venue When Federal Jurisdiction Based Entirely on Diversity
May be brought only in
(1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same state,
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or
(3) a judicial district in which any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.
Venue When Federal Jurisdiction Not Based Entirely on Diversity
May be brought only in
(1) judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same state,
(2) judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or
(3) judicial district in which any defendant may be found, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.
Change of Venue
For the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought.
Individuals: Residence for venue = domicile

Corporations: Any judicial district in which it is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced.
Can improper venue be waived by the parties?
Yes. It is considered to be waived unless there is a timely objection.
What law is applicable when venue is transferred?
If the original venue was proper, and the transfer was purely on convenience grounds, the law applicable is that of the transferor court.

If the original venue was improper, generally, the law of the transferee court will apply.
Removal Jurisdiction
A defendant can only remove an action that could have been originally brought by the plaintiff in the federal courts. Removal is tested only as of the date of removal. The state court need not have had jurisdiction.

Only defendants can exercise the right of removal - and all must join the motion.
Limitations on Removal Jurisdiction in Diversity Cases
When the jurisdiction of the federal court is based on diversity and one of the defendants is a citizen of the state in which the state action was brought, the action is not removable.

A case may not be removed on the basis of diversity more than one year after it was commenced in state court.

A case must be removed no later than 30 days after the defendant discovers that it has become removable.
Procedure of Removal
(1) Notice of Removal filed
(2) Must be filed within 30 days
(3) After removal, case proceeds according to the federal rules of procedure - repleading not necessary
(4) Jury trial must be demanded if desired within 10 days of notice of removal
(5) Plaintiff can file a motion to have the case sent back to state court
Doctrine of Abstention
Under certain circumstances the federal courts will retain jurisdiction over a suit involving a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law but abstain from deciding the question until a decision has been made by the state courts on the meaning of the state law. A determinative interpretation of the state law may obviate the federal constitutional question.
Exception to Doctrine of Abstention
Federal intervention on constitutional grounds may occur if the federal plaintiff can demonstrate:
(1) Great and immediate irreparable injury;
(2) Bad faith in the prosecution of the state action; or
(3) Harassment or other unusual circumstances calling for federal equitable relief.
Who may serve process?
Rule 4 authorizes any person not a party who is at least 18 years old to serve process. A party may, in limited circumstances, request that service be made by a U.S. Marshal or by another person appointed by the court for that purpose.
How is service made?
Rule 4 provides that personal service or service left at the defendant's usual place of abode with one of suitable age and discretion residing therein, or service upon the authorized agent of the defendant, is valid. Service may also be made by mail or state regulations.
Parties Served Outside State
The court will acquire personal jurisdiction over parties served outside the state:
(1) Under statute and rules for extraterritorial service of the state in which the federal court sits (domiciliaries, long arm jurisdiction, and in rem jurisdiction);
(2) If they are third party defendants or required to be joined for just adjudication, if served within 100 miles from the place where the action is pending (but within the U.S.); and
(3) If out-of-state service is permitted by federal statute.
Interlocutory Injunctions
An equitable remedy by which a person is ordered to act or to refrain from acting in a specific manner. Interlocutory injunctions are granted to maintain the status quo until a trial on the merits may be held.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Granted by a court when it was necessary to prevent irreparable injury to a party, and the injury will result before a preliminary injunction hearing can be held. Expires within 10 days unless the restrained party consents to an extension or good cause is shown for an extension.
Each claim for relief should contain:
(1) A short statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction;
(2) A short statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
(3) A demand or judgment for relief, which may be in the alternative.
Pre-Answer Motions
Rule 12(b) - Prior to filing an answer, the defendant may, if he chooses, file a motion and raise any or all of the following defenses:
(1) Lack of subject matter jurisdiction (can be brought at any time);
(2) Lack of personal jurisdiction;
(3) Improper venue;
(4) Insufficiency of process;
(5) Insufficiency of service of process;
(6) Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (i.e., even if plaintiff's allegations are taken as true, relief could not be granted); or
(7) Failure to join a party needed for a just adjudication.
Waiver of Defenses
If lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, insufficiency of process, and insufficiency of service of process are not brought up when filing pre-answer motion or answer, they are waived. Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and failure to join a party needed for a just adjudication may be brought up any time before trial.
Must contain denials or admissions, and any affirmative defenses. May also use a statement to the effect that the defendant has insufficient knowledge to form a belief on said averment, which will constitute a denial. A failure to deny constitutes an admission.
Time of Answer
If no Rule 12 motions, answer must be presented 20 days after service. If a Rule 12 motion is made, and the court doesn't fix another time, the responsive pleading is to be served within 10 days of the court's denial or postponement of the Rule 12 motion.
Reply to Answer
Reply by plaintiff only required where the defendant's answer contains a counterclaim denominated as such. Reply must be served within 20 days of service of the answer.
A pleading may be amended once before a responsive pleading is served, or if no responsive pleading required, within 20 days of service of the pleading. Thereafter - may only be amended by written consent of adverse party or by leave of the court upon motion.

Amendments relate back to the date that the original pleading was filed if the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth in the amendment was set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading.
Supplemental Pleadings
Relate to matters occurring after the date of the original pleading. The permission of the court, upon motion, is required. Permission may be granted even though the original pleading is defective in its statement of claim for release or a defense.
Rule 11
In federal civil cases, the attorney (or unrepresented party), by presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper, certifies that to the best of her knowledge, information, and belief formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) The paper is not presented for any improper purpose (harassment, delay, etc);
(2) The legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or a non-frivolous argument for the modification of existing law or the establishment of new law;
(3) The allegations and factual contentions either have, or upon further investigation or discovery are likely to have, evidentiary support; and
(4) Denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, where specified, are reasonably based on a lack of information and belief.
Rule 11 Sanctions
Court has discretion to impose sanctions, "limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of such conduct," against a party who presents a paper to the court in violation of the Rule 11 requirements, either on the court's own initiative or on motion of the opposing party.
Compulsory Joinder of Parties
Under Rule 19, a party is "needed for just adjudication" if:
(1) complete relief cannot be given to existing parties in her absence;
(2) disposition in her absence may impair her ability to protect her interest in the controversy; or
(3) her absence would expose existing parties to a substantial risk of double or inconsistent obligations.

These parties must be joined if they are amenable to process and their joinder will not destroy diversity or venue.

If joinder isn't possible, the court must decide whether it can proceed in their absence or it must be dismissed. Cases have shown a preference for dismissal if there is a state forum where all the parties may be joined in practice as well as in theory.
Permissive Joinder of Parties
Parties may join as plaintiffs or be joined as defendants whenever:
(1) Some claim is made by each plaintiff and against each defendant relating to or arising out of the same series of occurrences or transactions; and
(2) There is a question of fact or law common to all the parties.
Successive Claims
Rule 18(b) permits the plaintiff to join two claims when success on the first is a prerequisite to the second, such as a claim for money damages and a suit to set aside a conveyance that was fraudulent because of the debt asserted in the first claim.
Class Action Prerequisites
Rule 23 allows named representatives to sue on behalf of a class if:
(1) The class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
(2) There are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) The named parties' interests are typical of the class;
(4) The named representatives will ensure the fair and adequate representation of the interests of absent members of the class; and
(5) The action meets any of the following requirements of 23(b):
(a) Separate actions by class members would create a risk of inconsistent results or, as a practical matter, would impair the interests of other absent members of the class; or
(b) A defendant has acted or refused to act on grounds applicable to the class and injunctive or declaratory relief is appropriate for the class as a whole (e.g., most civil rights actions); or
(c) There are questions of fact or law common to members of the class that predominate over individual issues and a class action is superior to the alternative methods of adjudication.
Consideration in Treating Case as a Class Action
In determining whether to treat the case as a class action, the court should consider, among other things, the following factors:
(1) the interest of individual control;
(2) the extent and nature of litigation elsewhere on the same subject;
(3) the desirability of having the whole package in this court; and
(4) the difficulties in managing the class action.

The Court must certify the class. A judgment will bind all members of the class.

There is no concern as to personal jurisdiction over all class members.
Class Action Fairness Act
Relaxes federal jurisdictional requirements for some class actions.

Subject matter jurisdiction is established if:
(1) Any class member (not just the representative) is of diverse citizenship from ANY defendant;
(2) The amount in controversy in the aggregate exceeds $5 million; and
(3) There are at least 100 members in the proposed class or classes.

Removal: Any defendant, rather than all defendants, may remove the case from state to federal court.

Local considerations may defeat federal jurisdiction (if many plaintiffs are from the same state).
Protections Under the Class Action Fairness Act
Coupon settlements can be approved, but only after a hearing where the judge finds that the settlement is fair.

A court may approve a settlement that would have the effect of monetary loss if there is a finding that non-monetary benefits substantially outweigh the monetary loss.

Court may not approve a settlement that provides larger payouts for some because they are located closer to the court.
Permits a person in the 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. Available under Rule 22.
Disclosure Requirements
Before making disclosure, a party has an obligation to make a reasonable inquiry into the facts of the case. Rule 26 requires parties to disclose all information "then reasonably available" (and not privileged or protected as work product).
Three Types of Disclosures
(1) Initial Disclosures
(2) Disclosure of Expert Testimony
(3) Pretrial Disclosures
Initial Disclosures
Without waiting for discovery request, party must provide to other parties:
(1) Names, addresses, phone numbers of individuals likely to have discoverable information that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses, unless solely for impeachment;
(2) Copies or descriptions of documents or things in the disclosing party's possession or control that the disclosing party may use to support its claims or defenses, unless solely for impeachment;
(3) A computation of damages claimed by the disclosing party and copies of materials upon which the computation is based; and
(4) Copies of insurance agreements under which an insurer might be liable for all or part of any judgment that might be entered.

Must be made within 14 days after meeting of the parties pursuant to Rule 26(f).
Disclosure of Expert Testimony
A party must also disclose to other parties the identities of expert witnesses expected to be used at trial. Must be accompanied by a report prepared and signed by each expert witness stating her qualifications, opinions to be expressed, and the basis for those opinions. Disclosure must be made at least 90 days before trial, or within 30 days of disclosure of expert testimony this is offered to rebut.
Pretrial Disclosures
At least 30 days before trial, a party must disclose to the other parties and file with the court a list of the witnesses she expects to call at trial, the witnesses she will call if the need arises, the witnesses whose testimony will be presented by means of a deposition and a transcript of pertinent portions of the deposition, and a list of documents or exhibits she expects to offer or might offer if needed. Objections to use of the depositions at trial must be made within 14 days of this disclosure, or waived.
Scope of Discovery and Disclosure
Discovery may be had of any matter not privileged that is "relevant to the claim or defense of any party," including identity of persons having knowledge of relevant facts.

Work product of lawyers and others in anticipation of litigation is discoverable only upon showing "substantial need" and to avoid "undue hardship" in obtaining materials in an alternative way.

A party may depose experts who are expected to be called at trial (testifying experts). Consulting experts may be discovered only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable to obtain facts or opinions by other means.

A party has a duty to supplement required disclosures if she learns that the information disclosed was materially incomplete or incorrect and the new information hasn't been made known to the other party in discovery or in writing.
Six Ways to Conduct Discovery
(1) Oral Deposition of a Witness, Including a Party-Witness (Rule 30)
(2) Deposition of Witnesses Upon Written Questions (Rule 31)
(3) Interrogatories of the Parties - 30 days to respond (Rule 33)
(4) Production of Physical Material (Rule 34)
(5) Physical and Mental Examinations (Rule 35)
(6) Requests for Admission (Rule 36)
Sanctions for Discovery Violations
Court can:
(1) order the matters to be treated as admitted;
(2) prohibit the party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses;
(3) striking pleadings, staying or dismissing the action, or rendering default judgment;
(4) holding the delinquent party or witness in contempt; or
(5) informing the jury of the failure to make that disclosure (as well as disallowing the non-disclosed item from being admitted by the non-disclosing party).
Use of Depositions at Trial or Hearing
Subject to the rules of evidence, a deposition may be used against any party who was present at the deposition or had notice of it:
(1) To impeach the testimony of the deponent as a witness;
(2) For any purpose if the court finds that the deponent (including a party-deponent) is dead, at a distance greater than 100 miles from the trial (unless absence was procured by the party offering the deposition), or unable to testify because of age, sickness, etc; or
(3) For any purpose if the deponent is an adverse party.
Errors and Irregularities in Depositions
Relating to notice: Waived unless written objection is promptly served on party giving notice.

Errors of any kind which could have been obviated if promptly presented are waived unless seasonable objection is made at the time of taking the deposition or when returned (applies to form of questions, oath, conduct of parties, etc.).

Objections as to the form of written questions are waived unless served on the party propounding them within the time for serving succeeding questions and within 5 days of service of last questions authorized.
Pretrial Conferences
Rule 26(f) - Planning for Discovery

Rule 16(b) - Scheduling Conference (must be made within 120 days of complaint being served on defendant) - create a scheduling order limiting the time for joinder, motions, and discovery.
Jury Trial Demand
Rule 38 - Requires that the party who desires a jury trial to file a written demand with the court and serve it on the parties. Failure to do so within 10 days after filing the pleading in which the jury-triable issue arose constitutes a waiver by that party to any right of jury trial. Court may, upon its discretion, order a jury trial if the plaintiff's waiver was not intentional.
Jury Size and Composition
In federal civil cases, a jury must have at least 6, but not more than 12, jurors. No provision for alternate jurors. A juror may be excused for good cause without causing a mistrial, so long as at least 6 jurors participate in reaching the verdict. Must be unanimous unless all parties agree to the contrary.

(Arkansas - 12 are needed, but only 9 for verdict)
Consolidation and Separate Trials
Rule 42(a) allows court to consolidate actions when they have a common question of law or fact.

Rule 42(b) allows the court to order separate trials of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or other issues when such separation will foster judicial economy.
Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (Formerly Directed Verdict)
Rule 50(a): Motion may be made by any party anytime before submission of the case to the jury, and the moving party must specify the judgment sought and the law and facts on which it is entitled to judgment. The motion may be granted only after the non-moving party "has been fully heard" and regarding issues of claims as to which "there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury" to conclude in favor of the non-moving party.
Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (Formerly Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict, or "JNOV")
Rule 50(b): Must be filed no later than 10 days after entry of judgment. The moving party must have moved for a judgment as a matter of law at the close of all evidence to preserve the right to have the court consider a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law. The standard is the same as for the motion for judgment as a matter of law.
Motion for New Trial
Must be filed no later than 10 days after judgment is entered. Within that period, the court may order a new trial on its own motion. Reasons to grant a new trial: error during the trial, verdict is against the weight of the evidence, or because verdict is excessive.
If the trial judge feels that the jury's compensatory damages award is so excessive as to "shock the conscience," the judge may order a new trial or may offer the alternative of remittitur, where plaintiff can either accept an award less than given by the jury or submit to a new trial. Judge cannot just lower the award.
Summary Judgment
Rule 56: Must be granted if, from the pleadings, affidavits, and discovery materials, it appears that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. If there are ANY disputed material facts, the case must go to trial.
Time for Summary Judgment
Claimant may move for summary judgment at any time after 20 days from commencement of the action or after service of a motion for summary judgment by an adverse party. A defending party may move at any time. Motion must be served at least 10 days before the time fixed for the hearing.
Can summary judgment be rendered in part?
Yes. For example, it may be rendered on the issue of liability alone, although there is a genuine issue as to the amount of damages.
Can you appeal the denial of a motion for summary judgment?
Generally, no.
The court is not limited (except in default cases) to the demand for relief in the pleadings and may give any relief that is appropriate based on the evidence.
Time for Appeals
Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure: An appeal may be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the district court within 30 days from the entry of the judgment appealed from (60 days where the U.S. is a party to the action). However, if a timely renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or motion for new trial is made, or if a motion to set aside or amend the judgment is made within 10 days of judgment, the running of the 30 days is terminated. Upon the entry of an order based on such post-trial motions, a new 30-day period begins to run (though you can file before then). Time to file may be extended upon motion.
Supreme Court Jurisdiction
Has direct appeal jurisdiction from any order granting or denying an injunction in any proceeding required to be heard by a three-judge court.
Court of Appeals Cases
Cases in the courts of appeals may be reviewed by the Supreme Court:
(1) by certiorari granted upon petition of any party to any civil/criminal case, before or after rendition of judgment or decree; or
(2) by certification by the court of appeals of any question of law in any civil/criminal case as to which it desires instructions.
Cases from Highest State Court
Final judgments rendered by the highest court of a state in which decision could be had may reviewed by the Supreme Court by certiorari in the following circumstances:
(1) Where the validity of a treaty/federal statute is drawn into question; or
(2) Where the validity of a state statute is drawn into question on the ground that it is repugnant to the federal Constitution or to a treaty/federal statute; or
(3) Where any title, right, privilege, or immunity is claimed under the federal Constitution or treaty/federal statute.
Res Judicata
Once a final judgment on the merits has been rendered on a particular cause of action, the claimant is barred by res judicata (also called claim preclusion) from asserting the same cause of action in a later lawsuit.

(1) earlier judgment is a valid, final judgment on the merits;
(2) the cases are brought by the same claimant against the same defendant, and
(3) the same "cause of action" is involved in the later lawsuit.
Collateral Estoppel (Issue Preclusion)
A judgment binds the plaintiff or defendant (or their privies) in subsequent actions on different causes of action between them (or their privies) as to issues actually litigated and essential to the judgment in the first action. Much narrower than res judicata.

(1) First case ended in a valid, final judgment on the merits;
(2) Issue was actually litigated and determined (no default or consent judgment); and
(3) Issue was essential to the judgment rendered.
Who is bound by a judgment?
(1) Parties to the action
(2) Privies to parties
(3) Persons whose interests are represented
(4) Persons in vicarious liability situations (employer-employee, principal-agent, etc) where the exoneration of either is generally held to preclude an action on the same claim against the other.
Exceptions to Mutuality (Collateral Estoppel)
Courts have been very reluctant to permit a non-party to use a judgment to aid him (as a plaintiff) to obtain relief, though sometimes they'll allow it (example was a case involving the SEC).
Four-Part Test to Determine Whether a Stranger May Rely on a Prior Judgment
(1) Was the issue decided in the first case identical to that in the second?
(2) Was there a final judgment on the merits?
(3) Did the party against whom the judgment is to be used have a fair opportunity to be heard on the critical issue?
(4) Is the posture of the case such that it would not be unfair or inequitable to a party to apply collateral estoppel?

If all answered affirmatively, collateral estoppel will be upheld.