Legal Environment of Business

Legal Environment of Business
Homework Assignment #3
Litigation – An Overview

1. Parties
A building contractor is sued by homeowners alleging that their homes were poorly constructed resulting in several defects. The contractor adds to the lawsuit a building materials supplier that it claims provided faulty support beams for the houses. Can the contractor add the building materials supplier as a party to the lawsuit? Yes or No?
What is this procedure called and how does it work?
2. Standing to Sue
A group of environmentalists files a lawsuit challenging commercial fishing in Glacier Bay National Park and sued the United States Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service in order to prevent commercial fishing.
a. What must the environmentalists group show in order to satisfy the requirement of Standing to sue in this case?

b. At what point should the issue of standing be decided by the court during the course of the litigation?
3. Personal Jurisdiction
Smith, a resident of Michigan, was in Florida for a business meeting where he was served with a divorce petition filed by his wife, who had moved to Florida recently. Smith objected to the Florida court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction. What is the basis of Smith’s objection?
Should Smith prevail in his objection to the Florida court? Why or why not?
4. Class-Action Law Suits
How have the federal courts discouraged class-action lawsuits?
What are the key requirements for federal courts to permit class-action suits?

5. Pleadings
Describe the purpose of a complaint and an answer in civil litigation. What is the function of the pleading stage in a lawsuit?
6. Steps in Discovery
a. Why do surprises rarely occur at trial?

b. What are some of the key devices a litigant can use in discovery?