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Civil Procedure Keyed to Marcus
Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
After reviewing the crash, the British Department of Trade determined that there was no evidence of defective equipment. In 1977, a California probate court appointed Gaynell Reyno as administratrix of the estates of the five passengers (Plaintiff). Plaintiff filed wrongful death actions against both Piper and Hartzell (Defendants) in the Superior Court of California, claiming negligence and strict liability. Air Navigation, McDonald, and the estate of the pilot were not parties to this case, because Plaintiff had already filed a case against them in the United Kingdom. Plaintiff admitted that this suit was filed in the United States, because its laws regarding liability, capacity to sue, and damages were more favorable to Plaintiff. Scotland did not recognize strict liability actions, and only allowed wrongful death actions to be brought by decedent’s relatives. After the suit was removed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Piper filed a Motion to Transfer the action to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Hartzel moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, or in the alternative, to transfer. The district court quashed service on Hartzel, and transferred the case to Pennsylvania. Service was then properly obtained on Hartzel. In May, 1978, after transfer to Pennsylvania, both Piper and Hartzell moved to dismiss based upon forum non conveniens. The district court granted those motions, but on appeal, based upon the test in Gulf Oil v. Gilbert. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed and remanded, stating that dismissal is never appropriate when the law of the alternative forum is less favorable to the plaintiff.
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- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.