Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno

Citation. 454 U.S. 235 (1981)

Brief Fact Summary.

Respondents sued Petitioners after an aircraft crash in Scotland. Petitioners’ argued the case should be dismissed because Scotland was the proper forum, even though Scottish law would be less favorable for Respondents.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Unfavorable law in an otherwise more appropriate forum is not determinative or given significant weight when deciding forum non conveniens.

 

 

Continue reading “Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno”

Pennzoil Co. v. Texaco, Inc.

Citation. 481 U.S. 1 (1987)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant in a Texas state court, arguing that Defendant wrongfully interfered with a contract.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under the Younger v. Harris abstention doctrine, federal courts should not act to restrain state civil or criminal proceedings when the moving party has an adequate remedy at law.

 

 

Continue reading “Pennzoil Co. v. Texaco, Inc.”

Pennoyer v. Neff

Citation. 95 U.S. 714 (1877)

Brief Fact Summary.

Mitchell sued Plaintiff to recover unpaid legal fees and was compensated through Plaintiff’s property, which Mitchell sold to Defendant. Plaintiff sued Defendant to recover the property.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under the Due Process Clause, a state lacks in personam jurisdiction over nonresidents not personally served within the state.

 

 

Continue reading “Pennoyer v. Neff”

Parklane Hosiery Co., Inc. v. Shore

Citation. 439 U.S. 322 (1979)

Brief Fact Summary.

Respondent sued Petitioners for issuing a materially false and misleading proxy statement. Offensively relying on collateral estoppel, Respondent moved for partial summary judgment against Petitioners on the issues that had already been ruled against the Petitioners in a prior action with other parties.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

By the discretion of the trial judge, plaintiffs may use collateral estoppel offensively in cases where a plaintiff could not easily have joined in the earlier action or where it would not be unfair to a defendant.

 

 

Continue reading “Parklane Hosiery Co., Inc. v. Shore”

Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co.

Citation. 339 U.S. 306 (1950)

Brief Fact Summary.

Appellee filed a petition to settle accounts of a common trust fund and notified the beneficiaries through publication in a local newspaper. Appellant argued this violated due process.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

To satisfy due process, service of process must reasonably reach a defendant, convey the required information, and afford a reasonable amount of time to respond.

 

 

Continue reading “Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co.”

Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter

Citation. 558 U.S. 100 (2009)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant for firing him under false pretenses. Plaintiff filed a motion to compel disclosure of conversations between Plaintiff and Defendant’s attorney prior to this lawsuit.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Decisions compelling disclosure of information otherwise protected by attorney-client privilege are not immediately reviewable under the collateral order doctrine.

 

 

Continue reading “Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter”

Mastercard International, Inc. v. Visa International Services Ass’n, Inc.

Citation. 471 F.3d 377 (2d Cir. 2006)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant for breach of contract. Visa argued that it should be joined to the case under Rule 19(a) and the case dismissed for lack of diversity jurisdiction.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under Rule 19(a), a party is necessary and indispensable if the court cannot grant relief in their absence, their interest is at risk of prejudice, and the original parties are at risk of inconsistent rulings.

 

 

Continue reading “Mastercard International, Inc. v. Visa International Services Ass’n, Inc.”

Marex Titanic, Inc. v. Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel

Citation. 2 F.3d 544 (1993)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff petitioned the court for exclusive salvage rights to the Titanic. Defendant argued that the petition was based on factual misrepresentation.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under Rule 41(a)(1), a plaintiff has an unconditional right to voluntarily dismiss their lawsuit so long as notice of dismissal comes before the adverse party files an answer or a motion for summary judgment.

 

 

Continue reading “Marex Titanic, Inc. v. Wrecked and Abandoned Vessel”

Manicki v. Zeilmann

Citation. 443 F.3d 922 (2006)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant in state court for being fired without a hearing. Plaintiff then sued Defendant in federal court on the grounds that Defendant fired him as retaliation.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A claim is barred under res judicata when, in the second lawsuit, the claim arises from the same transaction or operative facts giving rise to the plaintiff’s right to obtain legal relief.

 

 

Continue reading “Manicki v. Zeilmann”

Malone v. United States Postal Service

Citation. 833 F.2d 128 (9th Cir. 1987)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant for violation of her civil rights. After a mistrial, the Defendant moved to dismiss the case because Plaintiff failed to comply with a pretrial order.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

In determining whether to dismiss a case for failure to comply with a court order, a court must consider (1) the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation, (2) the court’s need to manage its docket, (3) the risk of prejudice to the defendants, (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits, and (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions.

 

 

Continue reading “Malone v. United States Postal Service”

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. Mottley

Citation. 211 U.S. 149 (1908)

Brief Fact Summary.

Appellees sued Appellants to enforce a contract guaranteeing free travel. Appellants argued the contract was unenforceable because of a new congressional act forbidding free travel.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A lawsuit arises under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the U.S., for purposes of establishing federal question jurisdiction, only when the plaintiff sufficiently alleges in the original cause of action that a law, treaty, or Constitution has been violated.

 

 

Continue reading “Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v. Mottley”

Lavender v. Kurn

Citation. 327 U.S. 645 (1946)

Brief Fact Summary.

Petitioner sued Respondents for negligence after their employee, Haney, died on the job from being hit in the back of the head.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

When a jury has rendered a verdict, based on reasonable inferences of the evidence submitted, the facts may not be disputed by a reviewing court.

 

 

Continue reading “Lavender v. Kurn”

Kulko v. Kulko

Citation. 436 U.S. 84 (1978)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant in California to establish her Haitian divorce decree and increase Defendant’s child support obligations. Defendant argued California did not have personal jurisdiction.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A defendant must purposefully avail themselves of the benefits and protections of the forum state for the state to exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

 

 

Continue reading “Kulko v. Kulko”

J. McIntyre Machinery, LTD. v. Nicastro

Citation. 131 S. Ct. 2780 (2011)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff brought suit in New Jersey against Defendant, an English company that manufactured the metal-sheering machine that injured his hand. Defendant argued New Jersey did not have personal jurisdiction.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Consistent with due process, a defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction in a state where they have purposefully avails themselves of the benefits and protections of the state’s laws, demonstrated by the defendant’s conduct and contacts with the state.

 

 

Continue reading “J. McIntyre Machinery, LTD. v. Nicastro”

International Shoe v. Washington

Citation. 326 U.S. 310 (1945)

Brief Fact Summary.

Appellee sued Appellant in Washington for unpaid taxes. Appellant argued that the court lacked in personam jurisdiction because Appellant was a nonresident of the state.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

As required by due process, a state may only exercise in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident if the nonresident has created minimum contacts with the state and the lawsuit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

 

 

Continue reading “International Shoe v. Washington”

Insurance Corp. of Ireland, LTD. v. Compagnie Des Bauxites de Guinee

Citation. 456 U.S. 694 (1982)

Brief Fact Summary.

Respondent sued Petitioner over an insurance dispute. Petitioner argued the court lacked personal jurisdiction. Respondent tried to prove personal jurisdiction through Petitioner’s contacts with the state, but Petitioner refused to comply with the discovery order.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

It does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice to sanction a defendant for disobeying a court order in support of establishing personal jurisdiction.

 

 

Continue reading “Insurance Corp. of Ireland, LTD. v. Compagnie Des Bauxites de Guinee”

Hickman v. Taylor

Citation. 329 U.S. 495 (1947)

Brief Fact Summary.

During discovery, Plaintiff requested copies of Defendant’s attorney’s written statements from interviews with witnesses. Defendant argued the information was privileged attorney work product.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Privileged attorney work product cannot be requested during discovery without a showing of necessity.

 

 

Continue reading “Hickman v. Taylor”

Hess v. Pawloski

Citation. 274 U.S. 352 (1927)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant after a car accident, and Defendant moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction because of improper service of process.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, personal jurisdiction over a nonresident requires service of process personally upon the nonresident or their agent.

 

 

Continue reading “Hess v. Pawloski”

Harris v. Balk

Citation. 198 U.S. 215 (1905)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendant to enforce payment of a debt. Defendant argued the debt had already been paid to Epstein, a resident of another state who Plaintiff owed money to.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A court must give full faith and credit to another state court’s judgment if that court had personal jurisdiction over the parties.

 

 

Continue reading “Harris v. Balk”

Hanson v. Denckla

Citation. 357 U.S. 235 (1958)

Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiffs sued to stop Defendants from obtaining money appointed to them in their grandmother’s will.

 

 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A defendant must purposefully avail itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, invoking the benefits and protections of its laws, to constitute sufficient minimum contacts for the forum state to establish personal jurisdiction over the defendant.

 

 

Continue reading “Hanson v. Denckla”