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Civil Procedure Cheat Sheet by

Subject Matter Jurisd­iction

Federal Question
federal issue must be presented in the plaint­iff’s well-plead complaint; federal defense is not sufficient
Diversity Jurisd­iction
Must be complete diversity between the parties, amount in contro­versy exceeds $75,000 (can aggregate if jointly liable)
Citize­nship of Parties
Indivi­dua­ls—­dom­iciled where they are present with intent to remain indefi­nitely; Corpor­ati­ons­—do­miciled where incorp­orated AND where the principal place of business is located
Supple­mental Jurisd­iction
Court may exercise supple­mental jurisd­iction over additional claims so long as the claims arise out of a common nucleus of operative fact as the original claim; additional plaintiff cannot destroy diversity
Rejection of Supple­mental Jurisd­iction
Court discretion if: The claims are complex or predom­inate the lawsuit; The federal law claims are dismissed; or tere are any other compelling reasons to decline jurisd­iction.
Defendant may remove so long as the federal court can exercise SMJ over the case
Additional removal factors
no defendants can be citizens of the state in which the claim was originally filed; Motion for removal must be filed within 30 days of receiving the complaint; All defendants must join in or consent to removal

Personal Jurisd­iction

Tradit­ional Basis
service while volunt­arily present; domicile; consent
Long-Arm Statute
Due process and fairness
Due process
Minimum contacts (purpo­seful availment and relate­dness); Fairness
Specific Jurisd­iction
action arises out of the defend­ant’s conduct
General Jurisd­iction
defendant is essent­ially “at home” in jurisd­iction
Interest of the forum state in adjudi­cating the matter; Burden on the defendant of appearing in the case; Interest of the judicial system in efficient resolu­tion; and Shared interests of the states in promoting common social policies


Approp­riate Venue
Any district in which the defendant resides if all defendants reside in the state where the district is located; Where a substa­ntial part of the events or omissions occurred, or where the property is situated; or If neither of the above apply, venue is proper in a judicial district where any defendant is subject to PJ
Transfer of Venue
PJ, SMJ, venue approp­riate, interest of justice

Erie Doctrine

Federal Question Jurisd­iction
Federal substa­ntive and procedural law will control.
Diversity Jurisd­iction
Court applies state substa­ntive law and federal procedural law
Substance v. Procedure
substa­ntive- damages, SOL, eviden­tiary privileges

Pre-Trial Injunc­tions

Temporary Restra­ining Order
Party seeks to maintain the status quo prior to a hearing for a prelim­inary injunc­tion. Must show immediate and irrepa­rable injury and effort was made to give notice to opposing side. Last 2-14 days
Prelim­inary Injunction
Requires notice to the opposing party and a hearing. Must show Likely to succeed on the merits; Likely to suffer irrepa­rable harm in absence of injunc­tion; Balancing the equities favors granting; and Injunction is in the best interests of the public


Rule 4 Service of Process
Corpor­ati­ons­—se­rvice may be made on an officer, managing agent, general agent, or agent appointed or authorized by law
Rule 12(b) Motion to Dismiss
lack of SMJ, lack of PJ, improper venue, etc.
12(b) Motion Timing
SMJ- any time; PJ/ venue/ process- at first opport­unity; state a claim/ join a necessary party- in any pleading, motion for judgment, or at trial
Rule 15 Amendments
Plaintiff may amend its pleading once as a matter of right within 21 days after service on the defendant. Otherwise seek leave of court or written consent from opponent
Adding a new claim
Permitted if: original complaint was timely and new claim arises out of same transa­ction or occurrence
Adding a new Defendant
permitted if: claim arose out of same conduct, transa­ction, or occurr­ence; new defendant received notice of the action within 90 days of the original complaint; and new defendant knew or should have known that but-for a mistake, he would have been part of the original complaint
Rule 11 Standards for Filing
when documents are submitted, certifies that the documents are filed in good faith. If challe­nged, must withdraw or revise the document. May be subjected to sanction

Multiple Parties and Claims

Rule 19 Compulsory Joinder of Parties
party must be necessary, must be PJ, must be SMJ. If adding the party would ruin diversity, the court must decide whether the party is indisp­ensable (dismiss the case) or not (proceed without the party)
Necessary party if:
Court cannot afford complete relief without the party; There is a danger that the party would be harmed without joining; or There is a risk of an incons­istent judgment or double liability
New party is indisp­ensable
Extent to which judgment would prejudice the parties in the person’s absence; Extent to which prejudice could be reduced or avoided by protective provis­ions; Whether a judgment rendered would be adequate; and Whether the plaintiff would have an adequate remedy if action were dismissed for nonjoinder
Rule 13 Cross-­Claims
Can bring a cross-­claim so long as it arises out of the same transa­ction or occurrence as the plaint­iff’s original claim. Must have SMJ
Rule 14 Impleader
Impleaded claim must relate to the original claim between the plaintiff and the defendant. Must have SMJ.
Rule 24 Interv­ention (as of right)
Nonparty has an interest in the subject matter of the action; The action may affect their interest; or The nonparty’s interest is not adequately repres­ented by the existing parties
Rule 24 Interv­ention (permi­ssive)
Nonparty is granted a condit­ional right under federal statute; or Nonparty has a claim or defense related to the original cause of action
Rule 22 Interp­leader
Used to resolve the problem of competing claims to the same property


Parties may discover any nonpri­vileged matter that is relevant to a claim or defense
Work Product Privilege
Protects materials prepared by a party in antici­pation of litiga­tion; EXCEPTION: Inform­ation is not reasonably available by other means; and The party would be substa­ntially prejudiced if not allowed to access the materials. May NEVER discover mental thoughts and opinions
Expert Reports
Expert not called as a witnes­s—r­eports only accessible in except­ional circum­stances
Duty to Preserve Electr­oni­cally Stored Inform­ation in Antici­pation of Litigation
Must take reasonable steps to preserve or could be subject to sanctions; presume lost inform­ation was unfavo­rable; may also dismiss or enter default judgment
Physical and Mental Exams
Can compel a mental or physical exam of a party if that party’s mental or physical condition is at issue
Can depose party or nonparty (must serve a subpoena). Limited to ten
Subpoena duces tecum
request that a nonparty produce documents
Only used against party. Presum­ptively limited to 25

Adjudi­cation without Trial

Rule 65 Summary Judgment
Asserts that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law

Trial Procedure

Jury Trial
Seventh Amendm­ent­—right to jury trial when damages exceed $20; Must demand jury trial within 14 days after service of last pleading
Directed Verdict
Motion made by either party at the close of plaint­iff’s evidence or the close of all evidence; Granted if no reasonable person could differ as to the outcome
Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law
Motion for judgment as a matter of law is denied and the issue goes to the jury; Renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law asks the court to override the jury’s verdict

Post-Trial Procedures

Generally, need a final judgment. Interl­ocutory appeal allowed after the denial or grant of an injunction
Res Judicata
Claim preclu­sion. Requir­ements: The same plaintiff and the same defendant from lawsuit #1; Lawsuit #1 ended in a valid final judgment on the merits; and Claimant is asserting the same claim as in Lawsuit #1
Collateral Estoppel
Issue preclu­sion. Requir­ements: Same issue was actually litigated; Final valid judgment on the merits; Issue was essential to the judgment; and Mutuality (must be fair for new plaintiff to assert same issue)


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