[BALW 20150] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (13 pages long!)

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7 Feb 2017
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BALW 20150
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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1/24/17Chapter 2 and 3
The Lawsuit
Litigationthe process of bringing an action to assert rights
and responsibilities imposed by law.
“Public” system of dispute resolution/enforcement of
obligations.
Query: Does the adversarial system find the truth or is it
drama? Finds the truth, it works
Adversarial systemeach side argues its case, each side calls
its witnesses, each side presents evidence
Civil Law
There are several major court systems in the US:
o (1) The federal court system
o (2) The court systems of the 50 states and the District
of Columbia
Each of these systems has jurisdiction to hear
different types of lawsuits.
Coequals and separate
There should be very little overlap between
federal and state courts
Federal courtsconsistent across the country,
state courtsdiffer across states
Requirements for Bringing Suit
o (1) Personal Jurisdiction over the defendant
o (2) Subject Matter Jurisdiction
o (3) Standing
o (4) Venue
Personal Jurisdiction
o Jurisdictionpower to speak the law
o Personal Jurisdictiondoes the court have the power to
speak the law to the litigants, i.e., the defendant.
o Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution requires
“Minimum Contacts”—the opportunity to appear and
state your case before the government deprives you of
property
Due Process/right to be heard
Aguchaksfamily from Alaska, gets sued in
Washington for not paying for order, family won
because there was no degree of contact between
the defendant and the state in which they are
sued
Internet/E-mail issuescourts look at the nature
of the communication
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o In personamjurisdiction over the person
Minimum contactsthe person has minimum
contacts with the state
Purposeful availment
Contracts or activities
o In remjurisdiction over the thing
If the issue is ownership of property located
within the state, court can have jurisdiction over
anyone who claims ownership of the property no
matter where they are
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
o Trial Courtshave a judge and a jury who hear the
dispute and render a decision
Limited JurisdictionStates
Some trial courts are limited by the type of
dispute they are statutorily authorized to
hear, specific issues
Probate Courts
“Family” Courts
Small Claims Courts
Bankruptcy Courts
General JurisdictionState
Hears cases of a general nature. Not limited
as is the jurisdiction of limited-jurisdiction
courts.
Subject Matter JurisdictionFederal
US District Courts
The federal court system’s trial courts
of general jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is constitutionally limited
to:
o Diversity (ie, different states
and $75,000)
o Federal Question (ie, US Statute
or US Constitution at issue)
o BUT, does this truly limit subject
matter jurisdiction?
o **can be taken to federal court
because federal courts are
immune to local pressure, a
state court could judge biased
against someone from their own
state
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