Tuesday, August 5, 2008

That One Damn Case

You know how awful it is when your entire argument goes to shit because you discovered one obsolete case tucked away in the far corner of Westlaw?

I've been working with an associate on a motion to dismiss. In our motion we basically argue everything- lack of subject matter jurisdiction, lack of general personal jurisdiction, lack of "specific" personal jurisdiction under the Long Arm statute, improper service and forum non conveniens. Yes, we are basically throwing the entire Civil Procedure book at our opponents.

I had a lot of the arguments all set up. I had research the relevant and supporting analogous cases. I carefully compared the facts of our case with the facts of these supporting cases. I was ready to go and very proud. Then I found THE CASE. I found it completely by accident. I was searching for a case to an unrelated issue when I stumbled upon this awful case that fit our fact pattern EXACTLY. The crazy thing is, the court used a completely different standard than the mainstream cases. Problem 1: it is unflagged and therefore not challenged or overturned. Probem 2: it's binding on our court.

DAMN. SO CLOSE!

So it looks like we will continue with our arguments anyway and hope to god that this case is so hidden that, like us, our opponents will have a hard time finding it.

Litigation is so exciting sometimes.

7 comments:

Googie Baba said...

I hate that. I definitely think that sometimes I "over research" and make my life more difficult. But its better that you know about the case, then have opposing counsel side swipe you with it.

Infant Attorney said...

That in a nutshell is why I hate research and litigation in general.

Anonymous said...

uhhh not mentioning binding, negative precedent is a violation of the ethics rules... you can't do that if it's truly spot on! be careful there, that's very dangerous territory.

CM said...

I was going to say the same thing with anonymous -- it's a violation of ethics rules to keep that case hidden. But you can say that the court used the wrong standard.

Cee said...

Thanks everyone- I had no idea. I haven't taken ethics yet. I hope the associate knows what he is doing because I'll be gone in two days and I would hate for this to haunt me.

LEO said...

In a way, you should feel even better that you found it and saved them from embarrassment if the other side brought it up in court and the associate you work for hadn't heard of it. I hate legal research and still feel lost on Westlaw ...

Happy Student said...

I don't mean to sound lame, but I'm an admitted '09 0L, and I've been reading E&Es for fun, and I just finished CivPro, and all of your second paragraph made sense to me. I'm pretty proud of myself. (And no, I'm not a future gunner - I'm just bored.)