Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Worth a Read

Here are a few courts of appeals opinions from late September that might be of interest to you.--Counseller

Pintado v. Miami-Dade Housing Agency (11th Cir.):  The district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction where the plaintiff's pretrial amended complaint omitted the Title VII claim on which the district court's original jurisdiction was based and could not, post amendment, continue to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims.

Air Products & Controls, Inc. v. Safetech Int'l, Inc. (6th Cir.): The district court erred in dismissing for lack of personal jurisdiction because it erroneously determined that the exercise of jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant would be unreasonable where Michigan had an interest in protecting the plaintiff whose principal place of business is in Michigan and the Defendants put forward no evidence to contradict the "inference of reasonableness." 

Collins v. Horton (9th Cir.):  Arbitrator did not "manifestly disregard the law" requiring vacatur of the award under the FAA by failing to apply offensive non-mutual collateral estoppel because no "'well defined, explicit, and clearly applicable' law existed to be disregarded."

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Question: What happens in situation where a lower court makes a decision on the merits, and then appellate court finds lower court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. can the court take notice of any factual determinations? does res judicata apply, preventing parties from bringing up old claims? Seems kind of loosely related to above. Thanks.

Posted by: rob | Oct 4, 2007 7:23:57 AM

If there is no SMJ wouldn't the appellate court void the judgment? If the judgment is void then res judicata would not apply, correct?

Posted by: Brooke | Oct 7, 2007 3:31:07 AM

I guess my concern is judicial economy. It would seem that for a trial court to spend what could amount to years on a case, with no objection to SMJ, and then on appeal, one of the parties alleges SMJ, it would be a waste of resources to rehash old issues or conclusions which really have nothing to do with the Jurisdictional issue.

Do the parties then really have to retry everything from the beginning?

Posted by: rob | Oct 9, 2007 8:47:16 AM

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