September 4, 2010
NYTimes Highlights FL Foreclosure Only Courts
The New York Times has an article entitled High-Speed Courts Offer Answer to Foreclosure. It is a good teaching tool for those of us looking to highlight current event examples of the relationship of procedure, claims, and remedies.
From the article:
No one disputes that foreclosures dominate Florida’s dockets and that something needs to be done to streamline a complex and emotionally wrenching process. But lawyers representing troubled borrowers contend that many of the retired judges called in from the sidelines to oversee these matters are so focused on cutting the caseload that they are unfairly favoring financial institutions at the expense of homeowners.
Lawyers say judges are simply ignoring problematic or contradictory evidence and awarding the right to foreclose to institutions that have yet to prove they own the properties in question.
September 2, 2010
Facebook and Subject Matter Jurisdiction: With Friends Like These...
Earlier this summer, Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit in a Buffalo, New York state court claiming he’s entitled to an 84% stake in Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the defendant and Facebook CEO, removed the case to U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on diversity grounds. Zuckerberg contends that he’s a citizen of California and the plaintiff is a citizen of New York.
Last month the plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case, arguing that Zuckerberg is still domiciled in New York, thus destroying diversity of citizenship. Zuckerberg filed his opposition to remand this week.
Zuckerberg’s citizenship for diversity purposes has already been the subject of a published federal court decision. In ConnectU LLC v. Zuckerberg, 482 F. Supp. 2d 3 (D. Mass. 2007) (Hat Tip: Kevin Clermont), the court held that as of September 2, 2004, Zuckerberg was still domiciled with his parents in New York. That decision was reversed on other grounds.
September 1, 2010
Handrlica on Exclusive Jurisdiction and Forum Shopping in the EU
Jakub Handrlica (Charles University in Prague - School of Law) has posted Exclusive Jurisdiction vs. Forum Shopping in European Nuclear Liability Law to SSRN.
Obviously, two rather contradictory principles regarding the jurisdiction are currently in force in the European Union. On one hand, the international nuclear liability conventions clearly follow the provisions of liability channelling and concentrate all proceedings to one court. On other hand, the Brussels I. Regulation obviously prefers to make the plaintiff possible to choose between submitting its claims by the court in the country where incident occurred and by the court in his home country. This paper aims to identify interfaces between these two contradictory principles with special attention to the possibility to enforce the judgments issued by courts of non-convention states (i.e. Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg) in those member countries, which are contracting parties either to the Paris or to the Vienna Convention.
August 30, 2010
Erbsen on Impersonal Jurisdiction
Allan Erbsen (University of Minnesota School of Law) has posted Impersonal Jurisdiction to SSRN.
Constitutional law governing personal jurisdiction in state courts inspires fascination and consternation. Courts and commentators recognize the issue’s importance, but cannot agree on the purpose that limits on personal jurisdiction serve, which clauses in the Constitution (if any) supply those limits, and whether current doctrine implementing those limits is coherent. This Article seeks to reorient the discussion by developing a framework for thinking about why and how the Constitution regulates personal jurisdiction. It concludes that principles animating the emerging field of horizontal federalism—the constitutional relationship between states—should guide jurisdictional rules and instigate sweeping reevaluation of modern jurisprudence. The Article proceeds in three steps: it strips away layers of history and doctrine to present a model for thinking about why constitutional limits on personal jurisdiction may be necessary, shows how the model places personal jurisdiction within a broader context of constitutional law governing horizontal federalism, and considers how analyzing personal jurisdiction within this context challenges pivotal assumptions underlying modern doctrine and canonical understandings of how civil procedure and constitutional law intersect. In particular, the Article questions two pillars of the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence. First, it considers whether the Constitution makes Congress rather than the judiciary the primary institution for regulating jurisdiction in state courts, and thus whether the prospect of diversity jurisdiction and removal to federal court should preempt judicially created due process remedies against jurisdictional overreaching by state courts. Second, it challenges the coherence of the multifactored reasonableness test that courts use to implement due process limits on state authority. More generally, the Article creates a framework for thinking about personal jurisdiction that ties the subject into analogous debates about ostensibly distinct areas of constitutional law and provides a foundation for testing competing normative critiques of modern doctrine. The Article thus generates insights that can reshape a much maligned area of law that routinely confounds courts and scholars.
Oldfather, Bockhorst & Dimmer on Judicial Responsiveness
Professor Chad Oldfather (Marquette), Joesph Bockhorst and Brian Dimmer have posted on SSRN their article, Judicial Inaction in Action? Toward a Measure of Judicial Responsiveness. Here's the abstract:
This article attempts to develop a measure of what we call “judicial responsiveness,” which, roughly stated, concerns the extent to which judicial opinions reflect the arguments made by the parties in their briefs. We applied two methods of automated content analysis to the briefs and opinion in each of a set of 30 cases decided by the First Circuit, measuring for similarity based on computations of word counts and citation percentages. We then compared the results of those methods to the results of manual coding of the same documents. The existence of statistically significant correlations among the measures supports the conclusion that our automated methodologies serve as a valid means of assessing responsiveness. We argue that these investigations can inform a range of scholarly debates, including efforts to assess judicial quality and the influence of ideology on judging, as well as debates over specific components of the judicial process, such as the use of unpublished opinions.