Various Civ Pro Qs

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moandersen
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Various Civ Pro Qs

Postby moandersen » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:12 pm

I have a handful of various Civ Pro questions, and unfortunately my prof will not be answering questions from now until the final, which is over 2 weeks away.

1. Is there a different standard/burden for summary judgment depending on if the moving party bears the burden of proof at trial? How does Adickies and Celotex fit into this?
2. Is a jury right only available for legal claims? (Meaning there is no right for equity claims?)
3. Does issue preclusion/collateral estoppel take into account whether the issue decided was a question of law/fact/mixed question? Does it matter?
4. Was Twombly's interpretation on pleadings the new standard?

Thanks!

thwalls
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Re: Various Civ Pro Qs

Postby thwalls » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:19 pm

Question 3:

Collateral estoppel is said to apply only to issues of fact and not of law.

random5483
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Re: Various Civ Pro Qs

Postby random5483 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:53 pm

moandersen wrote:I have a handful of various Civ Pro questions, and unfortunately my prof will not be answering questions from now until the final, which is over 2 weeks away.

1. Is there a different standard/burden for summary judgment depending on if the moving party bears the burden of proof at trial? How does Adickies and Celotex fit into this?
2. Is a jury right only available for legal claims? (Meaning there is no right for equity claims?)
3. Does issue preclusion/collateral estoppel take into account whether the issue decided was a question of law/fact/mixed question? Does it matter?
4. Was Twombly's interpretation on pleadings the new standard?

Thanks!




1. Celotex is central to understanding the burden of summary judgment for defendant-movants. Note, Adickes says much the same thing, but I shall focus on the Celotex decision. Basically, when the plaintiff is the movant for summary judgment, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that there is no contested issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. However, the question is a lot less clear when the defendant moves for summary judgment. Essentially, does the defendant have the burden of producing evidence showing the absence of an issue of material fact?
In Celotex, the Appeals Court reverses the district court's grant of a defendant's motion for summary judgment because the defendant does not use affidavits to negate the plaintiff's claim. The Supreme Court has a split decision, with no majority opinion. The majority does reverse (Plurality + concurrence) the lower court holding.
In Celotex, the plurality (Rehnquist/3 other judges) argue that the defendant's burden is to show or point out an absence of evidence of a genuine issue of material fact. Justice White concurs in judgment(which gives them a 5 judge majority for the holding) , but argues that the standard is to demonstrate an absence of evidence of a genuine issue of material fact. White basically dislikes the majority's standard of just "showing" the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Justice Brennan dissents with 2 other judges. Brennan argues that there are two different burdens. A burden of production and persuasion. He argues that the initial burden of production shifts to the non-moving party if satisfied by the moving party, and that the burden of persuasion is always with the moving party. However, Justice Brennan argues that till the burden of production is met, the burden of persuasion does not need to be considered.
Takeaway: The burden of proof on a defendant-movant is not to negate evidence of the plaintiff's claim. The burden of the defendant is to show an absence of the evidence (most courts follow the plurality).
2. No idea. We did not cover this.
3. Collateral estoppel (issue preclusion) applies when an issue has been fully litigated. Basically, it applies to facts.
4. The Twombly standard is the new standard (Twombly was reiterated in the Iqbal decision which clarified that Twombly was the law and that Twombly was not limited to antitrust cases).

StyrofoamWar
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Re: Various Civ Pro Qs

Postby StyrofoamWar » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:01 am

moandersen wrote:2. Is a jury right only available for legal claims? (Meaning there is no right for equity claims?)
Thanks!


Yup, 7th amendment only gives you a right to a jury trial when dealing with legal claims. A judge may decide equitable claims on his own. Stems from the fact that, at the time of the drafting of the 7th amendment, there were separate courts of law and equity, so since the 7th amendment only refers to "legal" claims, it is only guaranteeing the right in cases involving issues of law, not equity.

However, in a question involving a mixed issue of law and equity, the jury must go first. This is due to res judicata issues. Basically, if the judge were to go first, the jury would be bound by his findings and the plaintiff's right to a jury trial would effectively be negated. Accordingly, the judge must wait to rule on the equitable issues until the jury has determined the legal issues AND he is subsequently bound by the findings of the jury through res judicata.

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moandersen
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Re: Various Civ Pro Qs

Postby moandersen » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:55 am

awesome. thanks for the responses. its all pretty much what I thought, but I'm glad now I know what I thought was right. that last sentence is awkward. I'm tired...




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