Do you have a Civil Procedure exam coming up? Try out our practice civil procedure jurisdiction question below! It is about an attorney named Mike who gets a job at Peers and Zpector. It contains personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction issues. If you would like the model answer, sign up for a tutoring session with us so we can go over it together. We also have an Erie question that goes with this that we will give you if you sign up for a tutoring session. Hope you enjoy the Suits references :)
Practice Civil Procedure Jurisdiction Question:
Mike is a newly-licensed lawyer who lives in Boston with his best friend, Trevor. Mike begins applying to jobs at various law firms not only in Boston, but also in surrounding areas, like New York, even though Mike does not want to leave Boston.
A law firm, Peers and Zpector, decides to interview Mike. The named partner, Harvey, is impressed with what he sees in Mike and decides to grant him a job as a lawyer. Mike is sad to lead Boston, but he accepts the job and decides he will return to Boston after he gets a couple years worth of experience in private practice under his belt. He figures that the job at Peers and Zpector will look good on his resume when he returns to Boston to look for a job.
Soon thereafter, Mike moves to New York and signs a year-to-year lease in an apartment. He registers to vote in the November election in New York after missing the deadline to send an absentee ballot to Boston. Mike even decides to learn to drive (something he had always wanted to do, but had never had to do in Boston) and get his driver’s license in New York.
Mike sublets his room in Trevor’s apartment to a friend.
Mike had not traveled to New York very much prior to receiving the job offer. In fact, prior to receiving the job offer, Mike had attended law school in Boston, served as a law clerk in Boston, and interned for various firms in Boston. He had been to New York only once or twice when he was much younger.
Soon after starting his job at his new firm, Mike meets a paralegal, Rachel, that he falls in love with. Mike even convinces Rachel to move back to Boston with him “in a couple years or so” when he decides to move back.
Mike is surprised to go on Facebook one day and see that Trevor wrote posts on Mike’s Facebook wall that ridicule Mike. Trevor falsely states that Mike never went to law school and is only pretending to be a lawyer. Trevor also posts pictures of Mike that had been altered to make him look like a clown and he tags these photos with not only Mike’s name but also Peers and Zpector’s name. He posts on Peers and Zpector’s page that they hired a “fraud” who “never went to law school.” Further, Trevor creates a “New York Lawyers Ethics Page” and posts several defamatory comments about Mike and Peers and Zpector and tells people to go to a firm with “real lawyers” who “actually went to law school.”
Mike is very upset by Trevor’s actions. Mike asks a few of Mike and Trevor’s mutual friends what is wrong with Trevor. It turns out Trevor is extremely jealous of Mike for his high-paying job and his new girlfriend. Trevor is also mad at Mike, because, according to Trevor’s friends, the last couple of times that Trevor had visited New York City and stayed in a house he inherited from his aunt, Mike was too busy with his “fancy law firm job” to hang out with him.
As a result of Trevor’s Facebook posts, the firm of Peers and Zpector loses several major clients and decides to terminate Mike’s contract. Mike begins looking for another job as an attorney but all of the firms that Mike applied to had heard about what happened at Peers and Zpector and none of them want to hire Mike. Mike wants to file suit against Trevor in federal court in New York for defamation. He seeks $1,000,000 in damage for harm to his reputation. He hires you to represent him. The senior partner, Louis, brings the following concerns to you:
Question One: Louis believes that Trevor will move to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Assume the long arm statute in New York states: “A court of this state may exercise jurisdiction on any basis not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States.” What arguments will Trevor make regarding personal jurisdiction and how should you respond?
Question Two: Louis believes that Trevor will move to dismiss for lack of subject matter under Rule 12(b)(1). What arguments will Trevor make and how should you respond?I
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