Explore BrainMass

Business Law Problems

(See attached files for full problem descriptions)


Solution Preview

Part 1

1) There are three analyses required here to determine where to bring this suit.

Jurisdiction & Venue
Civil Procedure & Choice of Law
Tort Law

Things you would need to research to advise appropriately:

1. What are the jurisdictional rules for the states of Violet, Red & Green?
2. What are the choice of law provisions for the states of Violet, Red & Green?
3. What is the tort law regarding responsibility for animals for the states of Violet, Red & Green?
4. Are there any venue concerns for the states of Violet, Red & Green?
5. In which state does Mr. Soretoe reside?
6. What is the amount of Mr. Soretoe's damages?
7. Are there any venue concerns? (none are presented in the hypothetical)

For purposes of our discussion, I am going to assume that these jurisdictions provide common law tort remedies and generally follow a system similar to the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. You should check and see if those provided by the hypothetical differ.

You would want to tell your client to file suit under the law of a jurisdiction that will recognize that the owner of an animal (whether wild or domestic) is absolutely/strictly responsible for any harm it causes. An argument may be that the lamb is domestic and that the owner would only be responsible if Mary knew or should have known of its dangerous tendencies (ie kicking folks).

If Red, Green & Violet all have such laws, then the next question is who has jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction has two components: Personal jurisdiction & subject matter jurisdiction.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Initially we should note that if the federal system of Spectrum mirrors that of the U.S., you will need to determine whether the parties reside in different states and the amount of Soretoe's damages. To be in a US federal court, the parties would need to be citizens of different states and the amount in contriversary over $75,000. Spectrum may require the same to have jurisdiction in a district court.

If Red, Green & Violet recognize an action on behalf of Soretoe vs Mary, the subject matter is a given.

Personal jurisdiction is a different matter.
Typically, you will need to show that a defendant resides in the state that you want to sue in or actually serve them in that state. Some states will recognize "long arm" jurisdiction - when a defendant regularly is active in the state the courts may find jurisdiction - in the US federal system this is often referred to as the minimal contacts theory of jurisdiction.

The easiest state to obtain jurisdiction over Mary is her home, Violet. However, Violet's citizens may love Mary and not find against her, so as a practical matter you may not want to file there.

It is conceiveable that Green could have personal jurisdiction if it could be shown that Mary had minimal contacts (possibly using the roads regularly for travel? This has been applied in auto accident cases. You should develop an argument sing an analogy). It should be noted that as the locus or place of the injury, it is arguable that Green has the greatest interest in seeing its tort laws upheld, but it may not have the greatest interest in doing so with respect to the parties if neither is a citizen.

It is unlikely that Red is a proper jurisdiction to file suit base don the facts presented. If Soretoe is a citizen of Red then it would be. Red would have an interest in providing a remedy to Soretoe, and jurisdiction would be obtainable if ...