Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

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Shaggier1
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Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:52 am

Aaaand another Civ Pro question:

I just read two cases: Carnival Cruise Lines and then Insurance Corp. of Ireland.

In both cases, one of the parties moved for summary judgment, citing lack of personal jurisdiction.

My question is this: if the issue in each case was lack of personal jurisdiction, why were the motions for summary judgment as opposed to 12(b)(2) motions to dismiss?

I thought I had a solid grasp on the difference between summary judgment and motion to dismiss, but my confusion here is making me question that....

Thanks for any and all insight!

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:21 am

The evidentiary standards are different: Rule 12 motions assume all facts to be true, whereas Rule 56 motions allow judgement to be rendered if there is no genuine issue of material fact. Thus, if a plaintiff has made a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction over the defendant, the defendant faces an uphill battle if he brings a 12(b)(2) motion, but is on a somewhat more level playing field in the context of a Rule 56 motion for summary judgement.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:32 am

Anonymous Loser wrote:The evidentiary standards are different: Rule 12 motions assume all facts to be true, whereas Rule 56 motions allow judgement to be rendered if there is no genuine issue of material fact. Thus, if a plaintiff has made a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction over the defendant, the defendant faces an uphill battle if he brings a 12(b)(2) motion, but is on a somewhat more level playing field in the context of a Rule 56 motion for summary judgement.



Huh? No.


Op. Cite the case. Let me take a look. I represent a few clients where this has come up and I've had some good results on the issue. Personal Jurisdiction, as far as I am aware, is not an issue for summary judgment. Unless, of course, its being raised at that point, procedurally, with other substantive issues, in which case I could see a court dealing with it on those grounds.

Anonymous Loser
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:40 am

These are forum-selection clause cases, if I recall correctly.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:46 am

These are forum-selection clause cases, if I recall correctly.


The Carnival case is a forum-selection clause case. I don't believe the Insurance Corp. Case is.

Reasonable_Man, the Carnival case is 499 U.S. 585; the Insurance Corp. case is 456 U.S. 694.

I appreciate you taking the time to look into those...

christmas mouse
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby christmas mouse » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:47 am

Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991)
Would love to hear reasonable man's take on this, but ill give it a shot:

While this case did involve PJ it was mostly a forum selection clause case. When P's bought their tickets they agreed to bring all cases in Florida. P's were from washington, got injured on the cruise, and tried to sue in Washington. I think D did not try a 12(b)(2) because arguably they had minimum contacts because they purposefully availed themselves to Washington because of advertisements and the like. I think they went for summary judgment based on the forum selection clause, trial court granted motion based on PJ, but COA overruled because of unequal bargaining power between Parties, undue hardhsips to make P's schlep to Florida, and there were sufficient minimum contacts. In the end SC reversed because since P's signed contract undue hardship did not matter and since Carnival is a Florida Co. it makes sense for them to deal with all their lawsuits there because it makes it cheaper for cruise customers. The more money Carnival saves not dealing with these lawsuits, the more shrimp for cruise patrons.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:48 am

The evidentiary standards are different: Rule 12 motions assume all facts to be true, whereas Rule 56 motions allow judgement to be rendered if there is no genuine issue of material fact. Thus, if a plaintiff has made a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction over the defendant, the defendant faces an uphill battle if he brings a 12(b)(2) motion, but is on a somewhat more level playing field in the context of a Rule 56 motion for summary judgement.


This makes some sense if the summary judgment is only with respect to the issue of personal jurisdiction... Is that what you are saying?

Thanks!

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reasonable_man
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:26 pm

christmas mouse wrote:Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991)
Would love to hear reasonable man's take on this, but ill give it a shot:

While this case did involve PJ it was mostly a forum selection clause case. When P's bought their tickets they agreed to bring all cases in Florida. P's were from washington, got injured on the cruise, and tried to sue in Washington. I think D did not try a 12(b)(2) because arguably they had minimum contacts because they purposefully availed themselves to Washington because of advertisements and the like. I think they went for summary judgment based on the forum selection clause, trial court granted motion based on PJ, but COA overruled because of unequal bargaining power between Parties, undue hardhsips to make P's schlep to Florida, and there were sufficient minimum contacts. In the end SC reversed because since P's signed contract undue hardship did not matter and since Carnival is a Florida Co. it makes sense for them to deal with all their lawsuits there because it makes it cheaper for cruise customers. The more money Carnival saves not dealing with these lawsuits, the more shrimp for cruise patrons.


This will be my lunch reading. Its not lunch time yet. So in the interim, I'll take suggestions for a healthy lunch idea and we can pick this up around 2pm eastern time. ;)

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Always Credited
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Always Credited » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:34 pm

I think this confirms that reasonable_man is both reasonable and THE man.

christmas mouse
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby christmas mouse » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:36 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
The evidentiary standards are different: Rule 12 motions assume all facts to be true, whereas Rule 56 motions allow judgement to be rendered if there is no genuine issue of material fact. Thus, if a plaintiff has made a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction over the defendant, the defendant faces an uphill battle if he brings a 12(b)(2) motion, but is on a somewhat more level playing field in the context of a Rule 56 motion for summary judgement.


This makes some sense if the summary judgment is only with respect to the issue of personal jurisdiction... Is that what you are saying?

Thanks!


good question and to be honest I dont know if that is what im saying. I figured they were doing summary judgment based on the forum selection clause and it just worked out that the trial court granted it for PJ. When it comes to motions for summary judgment and to dismiss my knowledge is very basic: I know what Rule 12 says, the list of things you can file a motion to dismiss on, and the consequences of not raising those motions at the proper times. This is definitely a case for someone who actually knows, like reasonable man, and not someone who can just take a "stab at it", like me.

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Shaggier1
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:17 pm

I just spoke to my Civ Pro prof. about this. He basically told me he was just as baffled by this as I was when he read the cases himself. He said he doesn't have an answer and told me that it is something that I can safely ignore, since it is so inconsistent with the standard proceedings re: personal jurisdiction.

I have never seen this man not have a ready answer to even the most complicated civ pro question, so I am satisfied to just forget about this altogether...

Still would be cool to try to figure out, I suppose.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:30 pm

Ok... So here is my quick take....

First and foremost, you have to realize that Fed Courts will often convert a Rule 12 motion to a Rule 56 motion as soon as you start attaching evidence and affidavits to your moving papers. That said, if you're going to move at the initial phase of litigation on the premise that plaintiff cannot demonstrate a prima facie case for in personam jurisdiction, or if you are going to move based upon a forum selection clause (as was the case here); you're going to need evidence in admissible form, i.e. affidavits, corporate residency documents, etc., (in this case documents showing where the vessel was registered, etc.), to support your motion.

That said, as a practical matter, whether the defendants moved to dismiss or moved for summary judgment on the forum selection clause (which essentially renders the personal jurisdiction argument moot), is of no moment to the Court. What is important to the litigants, always, is whether the dismissal issued by the court is "with prejudice" or "without prejudice" This concept is wayyyy more important. If the Court dismisses the case "with prejudice" then in theory, the case is over for good, as the court reached a decision on the merits of the case. Here, dismissal would have been "without prejudice" (aka without prejudice to re-file), which effectively says "hey, we (the court), dismissed this case on procedure, it can be filed again in the correct forum."

In looking at this case, don't let yourself get held up for even one second about whether the Court proceeds under Rule 56 or Rule 12. The important take away from this case is that the Supreme Court, unlike the Court of Appeals for the 9th cir, held, essentially, that there was no need to reach the issue of in personam jurisdiction, simply because the enforcability of the forum selection clause was clearly in the defendant's favor. Where there is an enforcable forum selection clause, you don't have to make a determination based on in personam jurisdiction.

Lastly, as someone that practices maritime law, always note that when a maritime case is at issue, something will be different than it would be, on every and any issue, if the case did not involve maritime law and occured on land. ;)

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Shaggier1
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Shaggier1 » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:57 pm

Ok... So here is my quick take....

First and foremost, you have to realize that Fed Courts will often convert a Rule 12 motion to a Rule 56 motion as soon as you start attaching evidence and affidavits to your moving papers. That said, if you're going to move at the initial phase of litigation on the premise that plaintiff cannot demonstrate a prima facie case for in personam jurisdiction, or if you are going to move based upon a forum selection clause (as was the case here); you're going to need evidence in admissible form, i.e. affidavits, corporate residency documents, etc., (in this case documents showing where the vessel was registered, etc.), to support your motion.

That said, as a practical matter, whether the defendants moved to dismiss or moved for summary judgment on the forum selection clause (which essentially renders the personal jurisdiction argument moot), is of no moment to the Court. What is important to the litigants, always, is whether the dismissal issued by the court is "with prejudice" or "without prejudice" This concept is wayyyy more important. If the Court dismisses the case "with prejudice" then in theory, the case is over for good, as the court reached a decision on the merits of the case. Here, dismissal would have been "without prejudice" (aka without prejudice to re-file), which effectively says "hey, we (the court), dismissed this case on procedure, it can be filed again in the correct forum."

In looking at this case, don't let yourself get held up for even one second about whether the Court proceeds under Rule 56 or Rule 12. The important take away from this case is that the Supreme Court, unlike the Court of Appeals for the 9th cir, held, essentially, that there was no need to reach the issue of in personam jurisdiction, simply because the enforcability of the forum selection clause was clearly in the defendant's favor. Where there is an enforcable forum selection clause, you don't have to make a determination based on in personam jurisdiction.

Lastly, as someone that practices maritime law, always note that when a maritime case is at issue, something will be different than it would be, on every and any issue, if the case did not involve maritime law and occured on land.


Can anyone say "above & beyond?" Thanks a bunch man. Very cool of you to take the time to do this!

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Lonagan
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby Lonagan » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:08 pm

TLS lives up to its best possible potential. 180.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:21 am

It would be nice if more legal issues were discussed (that were actual academic hypos -- not seeking legal advice). I, personally, don't see a problem with it as long as students aren't abusing it by asking questions regarding pending assignments, etc. In reality, lawyers do this all the time. Hell, I still get calls from partners at my old firm if they have a question or want insight and I do the same if I really want a wide range of opinions on an issue.

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re: Personal Jurisdiction & Summary Judgment

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:37 am

Shaggier1 wrote:I just spoke to my Civ Pro prof. about this. He basically told me he was just as baffled by this as I was when he read the cases himself. He said he doesn't have an answer and told me that it is something that I can safely ignore, since it is so inconsistent with the standard proceedings re: personal jurisdiction.

I have never seen this man not have a ready answer to even the most complicated civ pro question, so I am satisfied to just forget about this altogether...

Still would be cool to try to figure out, I suppose.


ask him what the hell the court was trying to get at in Q Int'l v. Smoak, and get back to me.




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