1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

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arklaw13
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:05 pm

moonman157 wrote:Erie Question.

Defendant moved, after he rested his case, for JML solely on the grounds that plaintiff's claim "did not implicate any public policy that could give rise to a wrongful termination claim" (what the suit was about). He lost, and the jury awarded $1 million punitive damages. He filed a RJML, reiterating his earlier argument and raising a new one that the punitive damages should be overturned because plaintiff did not prove that defendant acted maliciously. Plaintiff says that motion should be denied because defendant didn't raise that argument during his JML at the close of evidence. How should the court rule?


I'm having trouble understand in why this is an Erie question.

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06102016
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby 06102016 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:22 pm

..

arklaw13
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:32 pm

slackademic wrote:
slackademic wrote:uh, how do I practice property in 24 hours? I have to learn all of this real quick. is CALI credited? test is part MC, part short answer, and part long answer. in-class exam, open note, but can't use computer notes.


Don't know about property, but CALI is pretty good for some civpro stuff. I thought it was utterly useless for the contracts lessons I did though.

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Lavitz
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:36 pm

moonman157 wrote:Erie Question.

Defendant moved, after he rested his case, for JML solely on the grounds that plaintiff's claim "did not implicate any public policy that could give rise to a wrongful termination claim" (what the suit was about). He lost, and the jury awarded $1 million punitive damages. He filed a RJML, reiterating his earlier argument and raising a new one that the punitive damages should be overturned because plaintiff did not prove that defendant acted maliciously. Plaintiff says that motion should be denied because defendant didn't raise that argument during his JML at the close of evidence. How should the court rule?

This doesn't sound like an Erie question.

Anyway, I know it would be denied if the motion was only based on the new argument. Since it also restates the earlier argument, I'm not sure if the motion is denied or the judge can just strike the new argument and base the decision on the original argument.

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moonman157
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:54 pm

arklaw13 wrote:
moonman157 wrote:Erie Question.

Defendant moved, after he rested his case, for JML solely on the grounds that plaintiff's claim "did not implicate any public policy that could give rise to a wrongful termination claim" (what the suit was about). He lost, and the jury awarded $1 million punitive damages. He filed a RJML, reiterating his earlier argument and raising a new one that the punitive damages should be overturned because plaintiff did not prove that defendant acted maliciously. Plaintiff says that motion should be denied because defendant didn't raise that argument during his JML at the close of evidence. How should the court rule?


I'm having trouble understand in why this is an Erie question.


That's because I was an idiot and failed to provide a pretty crucial detail. CA Supreme Court has held that, under CA law, litigants cannot waive the appealability of punitive damage awards. That's the conflict. Sorry. Any thoughts? I argued a direct conflict between Rule 50 and the state law, and said that the state law abridged a substantive right to challenge punitive damage awards, but I really have no idea if that's correct.

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Lavitz
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:09 pm

moonman157 wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
moonman157 wrote:Erie Question.

Defendant moved, after he rested his case, for JML solely on the grounds that plaintiff's claim "did not implicate any public policy that could give rise to a wrongful termination claim" (what the suit was about). He lost, and the jury awarded $1 million punitive damages. He filed a RJML, reiterating his earlier argument and raising a new one that the punitive damages should be overturned because plaintiff did not prove that defendant acted maliciously. Plaintiff says that motion should be denied because defendant didn't raise that argument during his JML at the close of evidence. How should the court rule?


I'm having trouble understand in why this is an Erie question.


That's because I was an idiot and failed to provide a pretty crucial detail. CA Supreme Court has held that, under CA law, litigants cannot waive the appealability of punitive damage awards. That's the conflict. Sorry. Any thoughts? I argued a direct conflict between Rule 50 and the state law, and said that the state law abridged a substantive right to challenge punitive damage awards, but I really have no idea if that's correct.

That doesn't sound right. If you argued there was a FRCP on point that conflicts with state law, then the only questions are whether the FRCP was constitutional (can it arguably be classified as either substantive or procedural?) and whether it is valid under the REA (does it modify or abridge substantive rights?). You shouldn't be arguing that the state law abridged substantive rights.

But I don't see anything in Rule 50 about waiving appealability of punitive damages. Where did you find that?

Edit: This question still doesn't make sense because the whole state law thing seems like a red herring. The judge shouldn't take the new argument into consideration anyway. It needed to be raised in the original JML.

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moonman157
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:15 pm

I guess that's what I was confused over. I think I initially assumed that you can't challenge punitive damages in a JML because they haven't been awarded yet, but in order to make a RJML after the verdict you had to have made a JML for the same issue sometime during the trial

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Lavitz
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:18 pm

moonman157 wrote:I guess that's what I was confused over. I think I initially assumed that you can't challenge punitive damages in a JML because they haven't been awarded yet, but in order to make a RJML after the verdict you had to have made a JML for the same issue sometime during the trial

The question would make more sense if there was a state law saying you didn't need to raise an argument in JML to be considered in a RJML. Right now you're arguing that the FRCP demands the judge can't consider the new argument, and the state law says the judge can't consider the new argument (for a different reason).

Of course, everything qualified with "I think."

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moonman157
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:22 pm

Lavitz wrote:
moonman157 wrote:I guess that's what I was confused over. I think I initially assumed that you can't challenge punitive damages in a JML because they haven't been awarded yet, but in order to make a RJML after the verdict you had to have made a JML for the same issue sometime during the trial

The question would make more sense if there was a state law saying you didn't need to raise an argument in JML to be considered in a RJML. Right now you're arguing that the FRCP demands the judge can't consider the new argument, and the state law says the judge can't consider the new argument (for a different reason).

Of course, everything qualified with "I think."


Sorry if it was unclear, but the CA rule says you cannot waive the appealability of punitive damages, which I interpreted to mean that you can still challenge them after the verdict. This was done to ensure that the public interest in making sure that punitive damages were not thwarted by defendant's oversight or trial tactics.

Edit: Basically, Rule 50 says you waive your right to RJML when you don't raise the issue in a JML motion during trial, but the CA state law says you can't waive the appealability of punitive damages.

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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:35 pm

moonman157 wrote:
Lavitz wrote:
moonman157 wrote:I guess that's what I was confused over. I think I initially assumed that you can't challenge punitive damages in a JML because they haven't been awarded yet, but in order to make a RJML after the verdict you had to have made a JML for the same issue sometime during the trial

The question would make more sense if there was a state law saying you didn't need to raise an argument in JML to be considered in a RJML. Right now you're arguing that the FRCP demands the judge can't consider the new argument, and the state law says the judge can't consider the new argument (for a different reason).

Of course, everything qualified with "I think."


Sorry if it was unclear, but the CA rule says you cannot waive the appealability of punitive damages, which I interpreted to mean that you can still challenge them after the verdict. This was done to ensure that the public interest in making sure that punitive damages were not thwarted by defendant's oversight or trial tactics.

Edit: Basically, Rule 50 says you waive your right to RJML when you don't raise the issue in a JML motion during trial, but the CA state law says you can't waive the appealability of punitive damages.

Ok, I think I get it now.

CA statute = cannot waive appealability of punitive damages
FRCP = waive argument if not raised in JML

I'm not sure whether a RJML is really considered an appeal or if you waive your right to appeal on those grounds if you didn't preserve it right. This doesn't sound like an appeal though, because it's going to the trial judge. If it's not, then the conflict is not direct and the FRCP will govern. If it is an appeal, then there's a direct conflict and you would analyze the rule's validity in the way I did in the earlier post. Does the rule abridge or modify a substantive right? I don't know. They've never invalidated a rule, so I doubt it.

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moonman157
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:51 pm

Yeah sorry if that was unclear (it certainly didn't help that it took me 100 posts just to get out the question). Yeah, I guess looking back I would argue that it doesn't abridge a right because RJML may not be an appeal, and you still may be able to use other means to challenge excessive punitive damages, so the RJML requirement is procedural?

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moonman157
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:51 pm

It's a good thing i don't have a civ pro exam tomorrow...

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Lavitz
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:15 pm

moonman157 wrote:Yeah sorry if that was unclear (it certainly didn't help that it took me 100 posts just to get out the question). Yeah, I guess looking back I would argue that it doesn't abridge a right because RJML may not be an appeal, and you still may be able to use other means to challenge excessive punitive damages, so the RJML requirement is procedural?

I think so. I mean, it's pretty easy to just make the argument before the jury goes to deliberate. Seems more like it's determining how you may exercise your legal rights rather than defining your legal rights.

moonman157 wrote:It's a good thing i don't have a civ pro exam tomorrow...

Same.

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moonman157
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby moonman157 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Thanks. And, just to be clear, so that I'm understanding things, if a court determines that there isn't a conflict between a FRCP and a state law, then under Scalia's plurality in Shady Grove you look to see if the FRCP is indeed procedural (it will be), and under Stevens's concurrence you look to see if it abridges, enlarges, or modifies a state substantive right with little doubt?

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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Lavitz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:43 pm

moonman157 wrote:Thanks. And, just to be clear, so that I'm understanding things, if a court determines that there isn't a conflict between a FRCP and a state law, then under Scalia's plurality in Shady Grove you look to see if the FRCP is indeed procedural (it will be), and under Stevens's concurrence you look to see if it abridges, enlarges, or modifies a state substantive right with little doubt?

Well, apparently I only have one sentence worth of notes on Shady Grove, but it looks like in that case, Scalia read the rule broadly so that it did conflict and override the state law. My casebook doesn't mention Stevens' concurrence, but it does say that a rule should be read to minimize its intrusion on substantive rights if the alternative reading is defensible (I guess the plurality felt the alternative reading wasn't defensible there, or that the state law didn't protect substantive rights?).

But if the FRCP is broad enough to cover the issue and there's no conflict, apply the FRCP.
If it's broad enough to cover the issue and there's a conflict, you do the validity test.
If the FRCP is not broad enough to cover the issue in the first place, then you apply the state law unless there's another federal practice in the question (there probably will be). If the issue is purely substantive, then you'd apply the state law, but if not, then you're going to have to determine whether to use the federal practice or the state law based on the twin aims test. Then also use Byrd balancing as per Gasperini, etc. if your prof has gotten that far.

Might be prof-dependent. Ours gave us her own idea of what she wanted. She said apply all four on the exam: Substance/Procedure distinction, Simple York O/D test, Byrd Balancing test, Modified Hanna O/D test. Then decide which law applies based on which way most of them point. :?

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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby BluePurgatory » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:47 pm

I was trying to put this issue out of my mind, but I keep thinking about it so I figured I'd ask. On our prop exam, there was a statute that prohibited the cutting down of oak trees. The issue was that a homeowners used solar panels and wanted to argue that the her neighbor, who had planted large oak trees after moving in, was liable for nuisance. The problem is, abatement was arguably impossible because of that statute (it was intentionally vague to encourage statutory interpretation on our parts). Some people apparently made a regulatory takings argument based on this statute, and I can kind of see the shape of the argument, but I don't feel like this would be a real issue. Any thoughts on whether or not a solid argument could be made in favor of a taking?

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Easy-E
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Easy-E » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:03 pm

Could someone just briefly explain the qualified immunity doctrine for state/local gov't tort liability?

iworkforlsac
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby iworkforlsac » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:34 pm

Question on Property w/r/t Implied reciprocal negative servitudes (implied covenants enforceable by residential developers w/ a "common plan" for their lots/parcels):

If a developer restricting his, let's say, 100 lots for only residential use has sold 90 of the lots to eager buyers, and after selling 90, decides to change his mind and allow non-residential uses for buyers of the remaining 10, what rights do the initial buyers (of the 90 lots) have agianst the developer?

ty in advance

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feralinfant
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby feralinfant » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:44 pm

iworkforlsac wrote:Question on Property w/r/t Implied reciprocal negative servitudes (implied covenants enforceable by residential developers w/ a "common plan" for their lots/parcels):

If a developer restricting his, let's say, 100 lots for only residential use has sold 90 of the lots to eager buyers, and after selling 90, decides to change his mind and allow non-residential uses for buyers of the remaining 10, what rights do the initial buyers (of the 90 lots) have agianst the developer?

ty in advance


So they can claim the third party doctrine and that he can't change the general scheme of development. But especially if the declaration is written to allow him to make changes than it's going to be a question of how reasonable the changes are. In doing so you might look at things like the relative hardship to the developer.

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feralinfant
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby feralinfant » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:49 pm

Alright so I have a possible dumb question regarding covenants. I get that most of the problems arise when land gets conveyed and whether a covenant runs with the land.

But what in general is required to just create a covenant between two neighboring landowners. Like for instance Developer A gets B to promise to keep their cookie factory going b/c his development loves the cookie smell and its easier to sell houses with it.

Like I know the requirements in the law of real covenants and the law of equitable servitudes for if this runs with the land, but are they also for just if a covenant should be valid too.

So like if the cookie factory breaks is this dude obligated to get it back up and running?

Would i just look to the law of equitable servitudes anyway (even though its not about running with the land) since there's no privity and then just try to argue that the writing requirement should be relaxed for estoppel and then address touch and concern/reasonableness?

or is just more like a contracts issue and doesn't have anything to do with property really at this point.


ETA: So if anyone else was wondering i think the answer is that covenants can be created in the same way as easements but are easier to destroy. So in this situation there's probalby a valid covenant between the cookie factory and the people who bought homes from the developer in reliance on cookie smell, because it's like an easement by estoppel basically and under the law of equitable servitude (if you relax the writing requirment for estoppel reasons) it should run with the land between the developer and the homeowner. although the cookie guy could have it invalidated for relative hardship maybe.

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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby romanticegotist » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:04 pm

for amount-in-controversy requirements, can you aggregate multiple P's claims? I have conflicting notes. TYIA

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kay2016
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby kay2016 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:15 pm

romanticegotist wrote:for amount-in-controversy requirements, can you aggregate multiple P's claims? I have conflicting notes. TYIA


I have no, but if one plaintiff meets the threshold, other Ps can tag along after that.

So if Plaintiff A and B are suing over event X and A's damages are 50k and Bs are 50k, no go.

If A is 80k and B is 40k, B can tag along with A.


HTH.

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feralinfant
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby feralinfant » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:19 pm

it's also worth noting that you typically can't meet it by joining defendants either. The exception to this is if they'd be jointly liable.

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Easy-E
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby Easy-E » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:21 pm

emarxnj wrote:Could someone just briefly explain the qualified immunity doctrine for state/local gov't tort liability?


pls advise?

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kay2016
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Re: 1L Substantive Law Questions (Get your BLL on ITT)

Postby kay2016 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:26 pm

emarxnj wrote:
emarxnj wrote:Could someone just briefly explain the qualified immunity doctrine for state/local gov't tort liability?


pls advise?


We didn't cover it in torts, just briefly mentioned it with a case in civ pro..

Qualified immunity standard is there to protect officers

Test to revoke immunity
1) Violation of constitutional right
2)That was not objectively reasonable at the time

Probably not what you're looking for but




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