Joinder of Parties


1.       Joinder of Parties

a.       Rule 20: Permissive Joinder of Parties

                           i.            20(a) Permissive Joinder

a)       Test for ∏ to join multiple ∏s or ∆s in two-sided lawsuit

§  Transaction and occurrence

§  Common Questions of Law and Fact

§  Personal Jurisdiction

§  Subject Matter Jurisdiction

§  Plaintiffs do not need to be seeking the same remedy, just have to pass test  

                         ii.            20(b) Separate Trials

a)       Mosely: 10 plaintiffs joined in discrimination trial, same T/O, Qs of law & fact

b.       Rule 21: Misjoinder and Nonjoinder of Parties

                           i.            Misjoinder is not grounds for dismissal

                         ii.            Sever and proceed with separate trials

c.        Reasons to Join Parties

                           i.            ∏s joining may make case look stronger; more evidence of ∆’s wrongdoing

                         ii.            Cheaper, defray costs, discovery, easier to get representation

                       iii.            ∆ may take multi-∏ cae more seriously because more liability

                       iv.            Better chance of recovery if multiple ∆s; someone will be able to pay

                         v.            ∆s may blame each other, helping ∏’s case

                       vi.            ∆s may want someone else on the hook to defray cost if they lose

                     vii.            ∆s may be able to find better defense

d.       Rule 14: 3rd Party Practice (Impleader)

                           i.            14(a) When a defendant may bring in 3rd party

a)       “If me, then you.”— ∆ must have claim that impleaded party is liable to him

§  Defendants can not offer up other defendants to the plaintiff!

b)       Indemnity is a common example; insurance

c)       If state statute contribution rule for joint and several liability, then impleader for join tortfeasors.  If no contribution rule, then no impleader

d)       Price: issue: not joint tortfeasers, so had to establish indemnity based on relationship, generally contractual or statute based, in order to implead

                         ii.            14(b) When a plaintiff may bring in a 3rd party

a)       Plaintiff may implead 3rd party in response to a counterclaim

                       iii.            3rd party (impleaded) defendant’s rights in suit:

a)       May assert defenses against either original ∆ (3rd party ∏) or original ∏

                       iv.            Procedure: Complaint  & Answer [Rule 4]

2.       Compulsory Joinder

a.       Rule 19: Joinder of Persons Needed for Adjucation

                           i.            Rule 19 Motions

a)       May be raised with 12(b)(7) motion, motion to dismiss, or

§  Rule 19 motions are preserved by 12(h)(2)

b)       May be raised by court sua sponte

§  Judge would ask for briefs about whether necessary under 19(a) and/or indispensable under 19(b)

                         ii.            19(a) Persons to be Joined if Feasible

a)       Rule 19(a) Inquire to see if outside person is needed

§  Is it against the interest of people already parties, or

b)       Against the interest of people not already parties; likelihood judgment will harm someone who is not in the case

c)       If answer is yes, that the party is needed:

§  Can they be joined?

§  If YES, then ct may join as involuntary plaintiff or defendant

                                                                                 i.      Look at personal jx, subject jx, venue issues

                                                                                ii.      No due process issue; goal is notice and opportunity to be heard if litigation might deprive of life, liberty, or property

                                                                              iii.      Res judicata effective after involuntarily joined

§  If NO, then proceed to 19(b)

                       iii.            19(b) Determination of Court Whenever Joinder is not feasible

a)       Nature of inquiry: pragmatic and fact specific

b)       Goal of Inquiry: determine whether party is indispensable

§  If indispensable, case must be dismissed

§  Temple: joint tortfeasers are not indispensable

§  Helzberg’s Diamonds: party is not indispensable just because other contractual obligations may be affected

c)       Factors to weigh under 19(b) to determine whether party is indispensable

§  Prejudice

§  Extent to which prejudice can be lessened by “shaping of relief”

                                                                                 i.      E.g. relief only for partial ownership if something is jointly owned

§  Whether judgment will be adequate

§  Whether ∏ will have adequate remedy if case is dismissed now

3.       Intervener [R 24]

a.       Intervention of right: 

                                                                     i.            Statute confers unconditional right to intervene [18 USC §3626]

a)       Anyone suing over prison conditions, other parties (including legislation) who have interest in the cases can intervene

                                                                   ii.            24(a)  Applicant has an interest at statke in the suit and would lose ability to protect interest.  Consider:

a)       Timeliness

b)       Party has an interest in the property or transaction in action

c)       Action may impair that interest; interest is at risk

d)       Interest is not adequately protected by current parties

§  NRDC v. USNRC (not adequately represented because license holders and license applicants are likely to have different litigation strategies)

b.       24(b) Permissive Intervention

                                                                     i.            Often involves people protecting intangible interests

                                                                   ii.            Discretionary, loose standard.  Generally not reversible on appeal.  Consider:

a)       Common questions of law and fact

b)       Timeliness/ if it will unduly delay litigation

c)       Prejudice towards original parties

c.        Intervention and Supplemental Jurisdiction

                                                                     i.            §1367(b):  withdraws subject matter jx over ∏ intervener if it destroys diversity

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