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CIVIL PROCEDURE ESSAY QUESTION #3

MODEL ANSWER

Paul was injured two years ago by a defectively constructed machine while working in an
industrial plant in State A. The machine had been manufactured by Manco, a State B
corporation. Doctor (Doc) treated Paul for his injuries in a State A hospital (Hospital). During
the course of the treatment, Doc prescribed medication to which Paul was allergic. Paul's
condition worsened gradually after that, but it is unclear whether this decline was due to the drug
or to the progression of his injuries.
Paul sued Hospital in a State A state court for negligence. Hospital's defense was (1) that it was
not responsible for the acts of Doc because he was an independent contractor, (2) that Doc had
not been negligent, and (3) that the worsening of Paul's condition had resulted from the injury,
rather than from the medication. After a trial before a judge sitting without a jury, the court ruled
that Doc had not acted negligently and that he was not an agent of Hospital. The court further
ruled that it need not reach the causation issue. No appeal was taken.
Paul later died from his condition, and Wanda, his widow, who had lived in State A for five
years, returned to her original home in State C, located about 1,500 miles from State A. As
executor of Paul's estate, she sued Manco and Doc for the injuries to and death of Paul. The suit
was filed in a State C state court.
Manco sells its products in forty states and has a small sales office in State C. For fifteen years,
Manco has sold its industrial machinery in State C, its sales there having ranged from $400,000
to $500,000 a year. The machine that injured Paul was originally sold to Dealer, located in State
A, who in turn sold it to Paul's employer. Manco was served by mail at its corporate
headquarters as provided for under the State C long arm statute.
Doc lives and practices medicine only in State A but he was personally served with process at an
airport hotel in State C. Doc, who was on a highly-publicized speaking tour, arrived in State C on
the morning of his speech, and left four hours later to speak in another state.
It is undisputed that (1) State C asserts personal jurisdiction to the full extent permitted by the
United States Constitution, and (2) Wanda's suit was not barred by the statute of limitations.
Manco timely moved to dismiss the complaint as to it on the ground that the court lacked
personal jurisdiction over Manco. The motion was denied.
Doc timely moved to dismiss the complaint as to him on the grounds that the court lacked
personal jurisdiction over him. The motion was denied. Subsequently, Doc timely moved to
dismiss the complaint on the grounds that the suit against him was barred by the principles of res
judicata and collateral estoppel. A certified copy of the judgment in Paul's suit against Hospital
was attached to the motion. The motion was denied.
Did the court rule correctly on:

a. Manco's motion to dismiss? Discuss.


b. Doc's motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction? Discuss.

c. Doc's motion to dismiss on grounds of res judicata and collateral estoppel?


Discuss.

MODEL ANSWER

I. Manco's Motion to Dismiss Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction.


PERSONAL JURISDICTION.
Personal jurisdiction is the process whereby the federal court determines whether or not it may
hail a defendant into court.
LONG-ARM STATUES.
The first step in a determination of personal jurisdiction, is to state whether a long-arm statute
applies. States are free to determine the extent to which their long-arm statute will apply, up to a
Constitutional standard. In this case, State C's statute is coextensive with the Constitution. and
extends personal jurisdiction to the extent of the United States Constitution. Here, Manco was
served by mail at its corporate headquarters in State B, and as provided for under the State C
long arm statute.
TRADITIONAL BASIS OF IN PERSONUM JURISDICTION.
The second step is to determine if there is an absolute basis of in personam jurisdiction. In
personam jurisdiction will exist where a defendant is domiciled in the state; where defendant is
present and personally served with process in the state without fraud, trickery or force; where
defendant consents to the suit in the forum state; or where defendant enters a general appearance
in the suit.
A corporation's state of residence is its state of incorporation, and its principal place of business,
either its home office or its principal place of production. The facts indicate that Manco is
incorporated in State B and that its home office is not in State C. Thus, Manco is not a resident
of State C for personal jurisdiction purposes.
Further, since Manco has filed a timely motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, it has
not consented to the exercise of personal jurisdiction over it.
Finally, Manco was served by mail at its home office, located outside of State C. There is, thus,
no jurisdiction over Manco under this rule in the traditional sense.
MINIMUM CONTACTS. Without a traditional basis of personal jurisdiction, we must turn to
a minimum contacts analysis.
CONSTITUTIONAL DUE PROCESS. Where there is no absolute basis of in personam
jurisdiction, the Constitutional due process test must be met under a minimum contacts analysis.
In other words, defendant must have such minimum contacts with the forum state so that the use
of personal jurisdiction will not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.
Over the years, the court has, through its holdings, stated that it will look to several factors in
determining whether this principle has been violated. These are the purposeful availment of the
party upon the jurisdiction, the foreseeability on behalf of the party that suit would be brought
against them there, the relations between the suit at hand and the party's contacts with the

jurisdiction, the state's interests in adjudicating the case, and the convenience, or lack thereof, to
the party in adjudicating their case in that jurisdiction.
QUANTITY AND NATURE OF CONTACTS.
Purposeful Availment.
Defendant must have purposefully availed themselves of the benefits and protections of the
forum state, and it must have been foreseeable that they could be sued in the forum state. In the
instant case, Manco has a small sales office in State C and sells approximately $400,000 to
$500,000 annually in State C. Staffing an office and selling almost half a million dollars worth
of goods annually does indicate purposeful availment on Manco's part.
Foreseeability of Suit
Manco could certainly have predicted that it might be sued in State C, given its moderate sales
volume and business activity there. A lawsuit against Manco was foreseeable, due to the fact
that they have an office in the state.
RELATEDNESS OF CONDUCT TO CLAIM.
GENERAL. General jurisdiction exists were an out-of-state defendant has had
systematic and continuous dealings with the forum state, and defendant may be liable for claims
that involve activity outside of the forum state.
SPECIFIC. Specific jurisdiction occurs where defendant has had only limited and
sporadic contact with the forum state, but the cause of action arose out of that activity or specific
act.
The link between the cause of action and the contact of Manco and State C appears tenuous. The
machine in question was sold to a dealer in State A, who sold it to Paul's employer in State A,
where Paul was injured. Wanda moved to State C, only after Paul died. Three is thus a weak
link between the claim and Manco's activities in State C. Further, there appears to be no
indication that specific jurisdiction should apply here, because the activity leading to injury did
not occur in the forum state.
However, Manco had a sales office in State C for fifteen years, indicating a certain level of
systematic and continuous dealings with the forum state, sufficient for general jurisdiction to
apply.
INTEREST OF THE FORUM STATE IN PROTECTING ITS CITIZENS.
A court will also look to how interested the forum state is in protecting the interests of its citizens
in such wrongful behavior as was exhibited by defendant. State C has an interest in protecting its
citizens from injury. Since Manco has relatively significant sales in State C, State C will likely
have a strong interest in ensuring that Manco's products are not defective. This factor weighs
strongly in favor of Wanda.
FAIR PLAY AND SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE.
The notion of fair play and substantial justice looks to whether there are unreasonable burdens
placed upon defendant in defending the claim in the forum state such that defendant will be at a
severe disadvantage in defending the claim in the forum state. This is a judicial determination,

and the court may decide that a situation which otherwise meets the minimum contacts standard,
should not proceed due to undue prejudice to defendant.
Here, State C is is 1,500 miles away from State A. There may be a significant travel burden on
Manco. Alternatively, Manco has offices in 40 states, including State C. It would thus not
offend fair play and substantial justice to have them defend a claim in State C.
In conclusion, sufficient minimum contacts exist so as to establish general jurisdiction over
Manco without violating the U.S. Constitution. Thus, since both the Constitution and the statute
are satisfied, and the court's denial of Manco's motion was correct.

II. Doc's Motion on Personal Jurisdiction.


Here, Doc lives and practices medicine only in State A but he was personally served with
process at an airport hotel in State C. He was not domiciled in the forum state. Doc did not
consent to the exercise of personal jurisdiction by State C, as he timely moved for dismissal
based on a lack thereof. Doc also way not domiciled in the forum state.
Further, there are no indications that he had minimum contacts with the forum state.
Therefore, the only other way to show that personal jurisdiction is appropriate, would be to show
that Doc was properly served while he was in-state. If such in-state service occurs, there are no
personal jurisdiction problems constitutionally, so long as the presence in the state was not
obtained through trickery by the opposing party or fraud. Doc was in-state not through trickery
or fraud, and no force was used to effectuate service. He was in-state for only a short time
period, but transitory presence is of no import here. His purpose in-state was legitimate, to give
a speech, and no fraud or trickery was involved. His service in-state is valid
The court properly dismissed Doc's motion to dismiss because Doc was personally served in
State C.

III. Doc's Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel Motions.


CLAIM PRECLUSION: RES JUDICATA.
A party asserting claim preclusion / res judicata, must show that the prior adjudication (Paul v.
Hospital) resulted in a valid and final judgment on the merits, that it included the same parties as
the new adjudication, and that it relates to the same claim, transaction or primary right. A party
seeking relief in the original proceeding must thus forward all available theories of recovery and
request all available forms of relief, or be subsequently barred from relitigating the matter. In the
present case, Wanda is bringing the suit on behalf of Paul, her deceased husband, since the
damages she is seeking are based on his injuries, not hers. Therefore, the cases have the same

plaintiff
In the instant situation, res judicata is not available Doc because he was not a party to the
original proceeding in State A. The Hospital, not Doc, was the party in that proceeding.
Therefore, there are not the same parties present in both suits, and Doc's claims for res judicata
will fail. The court ruled correctly on this issue.

ISSUE PRECLUSION: COLLATERAL ESTOPPEL.


Issue preclusion / collateral estoppel will apply when a prior issue of fact or law has been
decided on the merits, and was reasonably necessary to support the judgment in the prior
adjudication. The issue must have been fairly and fully litigated in the prior adjudication, for
collateral estoppel to apply, and a final judgment must have been entered.
Issue was Decided on the Merits.
Here, the original court based its decision in that proceeding on the finding that Doc was not
negligent, and that Doc was not an agent of the hospital. Either of the findings would hold the
Hospital as not liable.
Issue was Reasonably Necessary to the Finding.
The finding of no negligence was not essential to the State A court's decision. The court could
have ruled that the Hospital was not liable because Doc was an independent contractor, and not
an employee.
Issue Fully and Fairly Litigated.
There was a trial before a judge sitting without a jury, which is proper if no party timely
demands a jury trial. The court ruled that Doc had not acted negligently and that he was not an
agent of Hospital. The court further ruled that it need not reach the causation issue. Here, there
is a problem, inasmuch as causation is a vital aspect of negligence, and it was not ruled upon.
Final Judgment on the Merits.
No appeal was taken, and therefore, there was a final judgment on the merits.
Mutuality.
Traditionally, only the original parties could assert collateral estoppel. Modernly, this restriction
has been loosened, and Doc will be able to proceed in a non-mutual way.
Conclusion
Doc's assertion of collateral estoppel will fail because the original determination was not
necessary to the prior holding, and the negligence claim was not fully litigated.