QUESTIONS OF LAW VS EQUITY Whether an action is one at law or in equity depends

Questions of law vs equity whether an action is one

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QUESTIONS OF LAW VS. EQUITY: - Whether an action is one at law or in equity depends solely on the nature of the remedy that the plaintiff is seeking. Most lawsuits include requests for monetary damages and thus are actions at law. - There is no jury in an equitable action. Questions of both fact and law are decided by the trial judge. In a case whether the plainitiff is seeking both monetary damges and an injunction, a jury can be used to find whether the plaintiff proved its claim and what damages should be awarded, but the decision to grant the injunction or other equitable remedy is solely decided by the Judge. - Proceedings in equitable actions are less formal than those at law. - Equitable remedies are considered to be exceptional. A court considers certain factors that it would not consider in a typical money damage suit. Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles (S. Ct. 2013) Class Action Fairness Act of 20005 provides that the deferral district courts shall have original jurisdiction over a civil class action if the matter exceeds $5 million. Thus, the claims of individual class members shall be aggregated. In this case, the plaintiff-respondent claimed that the defendant harmed hundreds of policy holders
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but wanted to keep it in the state court, so said he would not recover $5 million or more. The issue was whether that stipulation removed the case from CAFA’s scope. The federal judge held that it did, but the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The District Court found that the resulting sum would have exceeded $5 million but for the stipulation. The Supreme Court must decide whether the stipulation makes a critical difference. They hold that it does not. Stipulations must be binding, but the plaintiff here did not have the entire class figured out, so that stipulation is only binding to him. In sum, the stipulation can tie the plaintiff’s hands, but it does not resolve the amount-in-controversy question in light of his inability to bind the rest of the class. Fraserside IP, LLC v. Youngtek Solutions, LTD. (US District Court, 2013) An Iowa corporation filed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit in Iowa federal court against a Cyprus based company. Defendant sold some of plaintiff’s movies and used its symbols on its own website. Defendant moved to dismiss, claiming that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over it. The due process clause requires ‘minimum contacts’ between the nonresident defendant and the forum state before the court may exercise jurisdiction over the defendant. The defendant has no contact with Iowa, in fact, its complete absence of contacts with the state of Iowa is the antithesis of the type of continuous and systematic contacts necessary for exercising general personal jurisdiction over it.
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  • Spring '08
  • BREDESON
  • Law, Trial court

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