UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA SCHOOL OF LAW

Civil Procedure II, 501L, Section 3

 

Professor Carl H. Esbeck Winter Semester 2003

 

Directions to Part II (60 minutes)

Write your answer in the bluebook provided. Use a pen with blue or black ink. Write on only one side of each page. Do not tear pages out of the bluebook. Do not use the pages of the bluebook for scratch paper. Do not insert your scratch paper in your bluebook.

Arrange your answers in the bluebook in sequential order; that is, put Question 1(a) first, then Question 1(b), then Question 2(a), Question 2(b), and etc.

Place your student examination number in the upper, right-hand corner of this examination. When finished, return both your bluebook and this examination.

* * * * * * *

PART II
Essay Questions (60 minutes)

Question 1 (20 minutes): Assume a claim in federal district court before a jury. Further assume that the plaintiff has a very strong case on the question of liability but a weak case on the matter of damages. Plaintiff moved for a directed verdict at the close of all the evidence on the question of liability and the motion was denied. Verdict for the defendant.

                Subpart (a): Plaintiff timely moves for judgment nov and for a new trial because the verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence. The court grants the motion for judgment nov but denies the motion for new trial. Does this make sense? Explain.

                Subpart (b): Assume plaintiff now waives the right to a jury on the issue of damages, and the court assesses damages at $100,000 and enters judgment accordingly. Defendant timely appeals. The appellate court affirms the grant of the judgment nov, but believes that there was legal error prejudicial to defendant. What does the appellate court do now? Explain.

* * * * * * *

Question 2 (40 minutes): Two boats collide on Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa. Adam is the driver of one boat and Carol is his passenger. Britney is the driver of the second boat and Durgin is her passenger. South Dakota and Minnesota recognize offensive nonmutual collateral estoppel, whereas Iowa recognizes only defensive nonmutual collateral estoppel.

                Adam sues Britney in federal district court in Iowa alleging personal injuries as a result of Britney's negligence. Each argues the other was not keeping a proper lookout. The jury finds Britney 100% negligent and Adam 0 % negligent. Judgment is entered on the verdict.

                Subpart (a): Assume Carol now sues Britney in state trial court in South Dakota alleging personal injuries as a result of Britney's negligence. Carol seeks damages in the amount of $500,000. Carol files a motion requesting the state court to rule that Britney is precluded from denying negligence. How should the court rule and why?

                Subpart (b): Assume the court in subpart (a) granted the motion. [Do not be concerned any more as to whether that ruling was correct or incorrect.] Further assume that Carol was found to be 0 % negligent by the jury and went on to receive a judgment of $100,000 against Britney. Carol now sues Adam in state trial court in Iowa alleging personal injuries as a result of Adam's negligence. Carol seeks damages in the amount of $400,000. Adam files a motion requesting the state court to rule that Carol is precluded from suing him. How should the court rule and why?

                Subpart (c): Assume the events described in Subparts (a) and (b) never took place. Instead, following the federal action assume Durgin sues Adam in state trial court in Minnesota alleging personal injuries as a result of Adam's negligence. Durgin argues Adam was not keeping a proper lookout, and Adam argues Durgin should have worn a seatbelt. A jury finds Adam 67% negligent and Durgin 33% negligent. Judgment is entered on the verdict. Carol now sues Adam in state trial court in South Dakota alleging personal injuries as a result of Adam's negligence. Carol files a motion requesting the state court to rule that Adam is precluded from denying negligence. How should the court rule and why?

* * * End of Part II * * *

Turn in both your examination and your bluebook.