Indiana Law School 1L Study Guide for Civil Procedure

Indiana Law School 1L Study Guide for Civil Procedure

I. Personal Jurisdiction

  • Purpose: Determines the court’s authority to make decisions affecting the defendant.
  • Pennoyer v. Neff: Established that personal jurisdiction is based on physical presence.
  • International Shoe Co. v. Washington: Modern standard for personal jurisdiction which requires “minimum contacts” with the forum state so as not to offend “traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
  • Long-Arm Statute: Indiana Trial Rule 4.4 provides for personal jurisdiction over non-residents who have certain minimum contacts with Indiana.
  • Specific Jurisdiction: Arises when a defendant’s contacts with the forum state give rise to the lawsuit.
  • General Jurisdiction: Exists when the defendant has continuous and systematic contacts with the forum state, even if unrelated to the lawsuit.
  • Consent: Jurisdiction can be obtained by express consent, implied consent, or through the presence of an agent in the state.

II. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

  • Purpose: Determines whether a court has the authority to hear the type of case before it.
  • Diversity Jurisdiction: Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, federal courts have jurisdiction over cases between citizens of different states if the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
  • Federal Question Jurisdiction: Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal courts have jurisdiction over cases arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.
  • Supplemental Jurisdiction: Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, federal courts may hear additional state law claims related to a case already before the court.
  • Erie Doctrine: In diversity cases, federal courts apply state substantive law and federal procedural law. (Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins)

III. Venue

  • Purpose: To determine the most appropriate location for a trial.
  • 28 U.S.C. § 1391: Venue is proper in any district where any defendant resides, where a substantial part of the events occurred, or where any defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction.

IV. Pleadings

  • Complaint: The initial document filed by the plaintiff which sets forth the claims against the defendant.
  • Answer: The defendant’s response to the plaintiff’s complaint.
  • 12(b)(6) Motion: A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
  • Amendments: Parties can amend their pleadings under certain conditions as provided by Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

V. Joinder of Claims and Parties

  • Rule 18: Allows a party to join as many claims as it has against an opposing party.
  • Rule 20: Allows for the joinder of parties if there are claims that arise out of the same transaction or occurrence.
  • Rule 13: Governs counterclaims and crossclaims.

VI. Discovery

  • Purpose: Allows parties to obtain evidence from each other to prepare for trial.
  • Scope of Discovery: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense.
  • Tools of Discovery: Depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions.

VII. Pretrial Motions

  • Motion for Summary Judgment: Under Rule 56, a party can move for summary judgment if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
  • Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals: Established the standard for the admissibility of expert testimony.

VIII. Trial

  • Jury Selection: Process of selecting jurors, including the use of voir dire, challenges for cause, and peremptory challenges.
  • Opening Statements: Presenting the general facts of the case to the jury.
  • Presentation of Evidence: Rules governing the admissibility of evidence, including relevance and hearsay exceptions.
  • Closing Arguments: The final opportunity to address the jury before deliberations.

IX. Post-Trial Motions

  • Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law (JMOL): A motion for the court to enter a judgment without sending the case to the jury, because the evidence can lead to only one conclusion.

X. Appeal

  • Notice of Appeal: Must be filed within a set time after the judgment to commence an appeal.
  • Standard of Review: Questions of law are reviewed de novo, while findings of fact are reviewed for clear error.

XI. Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel

  • Res Judicata (Claim Preclusion): Prevents re-litigation of a claim that has been finally adjudicated.
  • Collateral Estoppel (Issue Preclusion): Prevents re-litigation of a particular issue that was already decided in a previous action.

XII. Full Faith and Credit

  • 28 U.S.C. § 1738: Requires that state courts give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.

XIII. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

  • Understanding the FRCP is critical: Provides the framework for civil litigation in federal courts.

Additional Indiana-Specific Considerations:

  • Indiana Trial Rules: These are state-specific rules that govern civil procedure in Indiana state courts.
  • Indiana’s long-arm statute under Trial Rule 4.4(A): Outlines specific acts that can confer personal jurisdiction in Indiana.
  • Indiana’s Unique Tort Claims Act (ITCA): Indiana law that requires a claimant to file a notice of a tort claim against a governmental entity within a set period of time before filing a lawsuit.

This study guide covers the major concepts and legal principles that you will encounter in a 1L Civil Procedure course, with a focus on Indiana law where applicable. It is important to understand both the federal and state procedural rules, and to be able to analyze and apply these rules through case law.

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