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Business Law Chapter 3 Homework Either Party Can File Summary Judgment Motion

Page Count
9 pages
Word Count
4641 words
Book Title
Business Law: Text and Cases 14th Edition
Authors
Frank B. Cross, Kenneth W. Clarkson, Roger LeRoy Miller
1
CHAPTER 3
COURT PROCEDURES
ANSWER TO CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
IN THE FEATURE
DIGITAL UPDATECRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
In our connected world, is there any way a defendant could avoid service of process via
social media? Yes, there is one way. That defendant could have to have no social media
accounts whatsoever. Increasingly, though, fewer and fewer individuals are not connected to
others via social media.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS
AT THE ENDS OF THE CASES
CASE 3.1LEGAL REASONING QUESTIONS
1A. Compare and contrast a motion to dismiss with other pretrial motions. Identify
their chief differences. Pretrial motions include the motion to dismiss, the motion for judgment
on the pleadings, and the motion for summary judgment. At the pretrial stage, a defendant’s mo-
tion to dismiss may be based on any of several grounds. In this case, the motion was based on
the court’s lack of venue due to the forum-selection clause in the parties’ contract. It was not
relevant to this motion whether any facts were in dispute or questions at law were at issue. After
2A. Why did the appellants in this case file a motion to dismiss? The appellants in this
case filed a motion to dismiss to avoid litigating the dispute in the court in which the related suit
2 UNIT ONE: THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS
3A. What is the effect of granting amotion to dismiss? Granting a motion to dismiss in a
case dismisses all or part of the suit without necessarily resolving the dispute. In this case, for
example, the effect of the court’s granting the appellants’ motion to dismiss was a ruling that the
CASE 3.2CRITICAL THINKING
LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Should motions for summary judgment and other pretrial motions be abolished so that
all lawsuits proceed to trial? Why or why not? Yes, Motions for summary judgment and
other pretrial motions should be abolished, and disputes for which pleading shave been filed
should go to trial. Eliminating these motions would make a trial nearly inevitable for a dispute for
which pleadings have been filed. Because the expense of a trial can be significant, a party with
WHAT IF THE FACTS WERE DIFFERENT?
Suppose that at this stage of the litigation, Twenty-First Century had not been able to
provide evidence in support of its asserted reason for Lewis’s firing. What would have
been the result? Why? If Twenty-First Century had not been able to provide evidence in
support of its asserted reason for Lewis’s firing, the court would have denied the employer’s
request for summary judgment. The case would have likely gone to trial because there would
CASE 3.3CRITICAL THINKING
ETHICAL
Does Winstead have an ethical duty to comply with the defendants’ discovery request?
Discuss. Yes, Winstead has an ethical duty to comply with the defendants’ discovery request.
At a minimum, there is a legal duty to comply with discovery requests. A court can sanction a
party who does not comply. Compliance with the law is the least an ethical businessperson can
do.
LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Did the defendants have a legitimate basis to make a discovery request for information
regarding Winstead’s outside income? Explain. Yes, the defendants had a legitimate
reason to request information regarding Winstead’s finances. In this case, Kilby Brake claimed
that WInstead sold the firm’s fish and kept the income for himself. WInstead’s tax returns and
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS IN THE REVIEWING FEATURE
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER
1A. Contingency fee
If the Metzgars lose, the lawyer does not receive pay for work provided. If they win a verdict in
court or receive a settlement, the lawyer takes a percentage of that, usually around 30 percent.
2A. Service of process
A copy would be handed to a company representative by a process server or possibly by mail.
3A. Request for summary judgment
No, because even if the facts of the accident are not in dispute, the question of liability is one to
be determined at trial. The basic facts may not be in dispute, but there is no clear conclusion to
4 UNIT ONE: THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS
4A. Options after the verdict
The plaintiffs may make a motion for a judgment n.o.v. and, if that is unsuccessful, may appeal
the decision reached at trial to the court of appeals.
ANSWER TO DEBATE THIS QUESTION IN THE REVIEWING FEATURE
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER
Some consumer advocates argue that high attorney contingency feessometimes
reaching 40 percentunfairly deprive winning plaintiffs of too much of their
awards. Should the government put a cap on contingency fees at, say 20 percent? Why
or why not? In theory and in practice, poorer plaintiffs opt for contingency fee contracts with
their attorneys because they cannot afford to pay straight hourly legal fees plus all of the related
expenses that occur during discovery, before trial, during trial, and after trial. Therefore,
empirically, poorer plaintiffs often end up paying the most in contingency fees. If the
government capped such fees at a maximum percents, say 20 percent, then winning plaintiffs
ANSWERS TO ISSUE SPOTTERS
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER
1A. At the trial, after Sue calls her witnesses, offers her evidence, and otherwise pre-
sents her side of the case, Tom has at least two choices between courses of actions.
Tom can call his first witness. What else might he do? Tom could file a motion for a directed
verdict. This motion asks the judge to direct a verdict for Tom on the ground that Sue presented
2A. After the trial, the judge issues a judgment that includes a grant of relief for Sue,
but the relief is less than Sue wanted. Neither Sue nor Tom is satisfied with this result.
Who can appeal to a higher court? Either a plaintiff or a defendant, or both, can appeal a
judgment to a higher court. An appellate court can affirm, reverse, or remand a case, or take
CHAPTER 3: COURT PROCEDURES 5
ANSWERS TO BUSINESS SCENARIOS
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER
3-1A. Discovery rules
Under the work-product rule, attorneys are allowed to protect information that they have
gathered as a result of their own skill and diligence. For example, an attorney for a party
3-2A. Motions
(a) After all of the pleadings (the complaint, answer, and any counterclaim and reply)
have been filed, either party can file a motion for judgment on the pleadings. This may happen
because it is clear from just the pleadings that the plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action.
This motion is also appropriate when all the parties agree on the facts, and the only question
(b) During the trial, at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, the defendant may move
for a directed verdict. If the defendant does this, he or she will argue to the court that the
plaintiff presented inadequate evidence that he or she is entitled to the remedy being sought. In
considering a motion for a directed verdict (federal courts use the term “motion for a judgment
as a matter of law”), the judge looks at the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff
(c) As noted in part (a) of this answer, a motion for summary judgment is similar to a
motion for a judgment on the pleadings in that it asks the court to grant a judgment without a
trial. Either party can file a summary judgment motion when the only question is how the law
6 UNIT ONE: THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS
(d) If a losing party has previously moved for a directed verdict, that party can make a
motion for a judgment n.o.v. (notwithstanding the verdict) after the jury issues its verdict. The
standards for granting a judgment n.o.v. are the same as those for granting a motion to dismiss
3-3A. Motion for a new trial
The conduct of the trial judge was inappropriate and potentially prejudicial, and the case should
be remanded for a new trial before a different judge. A trial judge is charged with providing
order and decorum in trial proceedings. The average juror is a layman; the average layman
3-4A. Discovery
Without any protections in place to inhibit RoadTrac’s use of the information, ATC could be
irreparably harmed, because ATC and RoadTrac had become competitive bidders for projects in
the field of GPS technology. As such, RoadTrac should not have unlimited access to ATC’s
ANSWERS TO BUSINESS CASE PROBLEMS
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER
3-5A. Jury misconduct
The Missouri high court reversed the trial court and remanded the case. The fact that the bias
was not uncovered during voir dire does not matter. When a juror makes statements evincing
ethnic or religious bias or prejudice during deliberations, the juror exposes his mental processes
and innermost thoughts. What used to “rest alone in the juror's breast” has now been exposed
3-6A. Service of process
No, the Minnesota court should enforce the out-of-state judgment. The parties had agreed to
have disputes litigated in Tennessee, and Clint Pharmaceuticals served process on the medical
clinic by registered mail. When the clinic owner’s wife opened the letter, the defendant was
notified of the lawsuit, even though the wife was not the registered agent of the LLC. The wife
37A. BUSINESS CASE PROBLEM WITH SAMPLE ANSWERDiscovery
Yes, the items that were deleted from a Facebook page can be recovered. Normally, a party
must hire an expert to recover material in an electronic format, and this can be time consuming
and expensive.
Electronic evidence, or e-evidence, consists of all computer-generated or electronically
recorded information, such as posts on Facebook and other social media sites. The effect that
e-evidence can have in a case depends on its relevance and what it reveals. In the facts
presented in this problem, Isaiah should be sanctioned—he should be required to cover Allied’s
cost to hire the recovery expert and attorney’s fees to confront the misconduct. In a jury trial, the
38A. Motion for summary judgment
No, a summary judgment would not be appropriate at this point in the litigation of the dispute
between the parties. Either party can file a motion for summary judgment, which asks the court
to grant a judgment in that party’s favor without a trial. And the motion can be made before the
trial. But a court will grant the motion and issue a summary judgment only if no facts are in
3-9A. A QUESTION OF ETHICSService of process
(a) One reason for the strict construction and application of such procedural
requirements as the details imposed on service of process is the seriousness and finality of
legal proceedings. Unlike many other events that offer “second chances” or can otherwise be
undone, the result of a legal proceeding such as a trial is almost always final.
On the appeal in Harvestons’ case, the state intermediate appellate court held that there
were “no presumptions in favor of valid issuance, service, and return.” The court reasoned that
this rule “must be strictly observed because presumptions can neither be confirmed nor rebutted
by evidence in an appellate court. Thus, for example, if the [document of service] says an
amended petition was attached (which named the defaulted party) and the return says the
(b) The state intermediate appellate court stated that “[i]t is the responsibility of the
party requesting service, not the process server, to see that service is properly accomplished.”
The court also emphasized that the service’s return “is not a trivial or merely formalistic
document. If any of [its] requirements are not met, the return . . . is fatally defective and will not
support a default judgment.”
In this case, “[n]either the return nor any other portion of the record designates Jo Ann
Kocerek as an authorized representative of the Commission or indicates that she has the
authority to receive service on behalf of Harvestons or the Commissioner. Indeed, it is simply
not possible to determine from the record who Jo Ann Kocerek is or whether she is an agent
CHAPTER 3: COURT PROCEDURES 9
ANSWERS TO LEGAL REASONING GROUP ACTIVITY QUESTIONS
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER
310A . Court procedures
(a) Rico’s could file a motion claiming that a federal court lacked jurisidction to hear
the dispute, but the motion would likely be denied. Because there appears to be diversity of
citizenship in the situation set out here, if the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional
amount, a suit can be filed in a federal district court.
(b) Bento’s first option might be to file a motion to set aside the verdict and hold a new
trial. This motion will be granted if the judge is convinced, after examining the evidence, that the
jury was in error (assuming the trial involved a jury) but does not think it appropriate to issue a

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