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Evaluate the scenarios below and respond to the items following each scenario.
Scenario A: Tony lives in Maryland. Charlie owns and works at a store in Maryland and lives in Pennsylvania. Charlie drives from Pennsylvania to work at his Maryland store 6 days a week and has been doing so for the last 10 years. While driving in Maryland, Charlie rammed his car into Tony’s car (Charlie was distracted by his cell phone). Tony filed a case against Charlie in a Maryland court for injuries from the accident.
Does the Maryland court have personal jurisdiction over Charlie?
Explain your answer.
Scenario B: Elena lives in Wyoming. She invented a specialty tool and registered a patent for the tool under U.S. federal law with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Elena learned that AB Tool Manufacturers, based in Wyoming, started manufacturing the same specialty tool that she invented. AB Tool Manufacturers claimed it invented the tool and that it owns the rights to the tool design, despite Elena’s patent. Elena has filed suit against AB Tool Manufacturers in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.
Does the U.S. District Court have subject matter jurisdiction?
Explain your answer.
Scenario C: Jose and Quincy live in Massachusetts and Victor lives in Rhode Island. The three of them co-wrote a song and it skyrocketed to the top of the charts. They have a valid, written agreement about splitting the profits. The royalties’ funds come directly to Victor, and Victor has the responsibility for splitting the profits according to the agreement and sending monthly checks to Quincy and Jose.
Royalties have been coming in monthly. However, Jose has not received payment from Victor in over three months and believes that Victor and Quincy are cheating him by splitting and keeping his share of the profits. Jose filed suit against Quincy and Victor in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island for $250,000.
Does the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island have subject matter jurisdiction?
Explain your answer.
Part II: Criminal Cases – Jury Selection and Standard of Proof
Scenario A: Ron is on trial for first degree murder of a state trooper. Jury selection is underway. Ron’s defense attorney learned that Juror A’s husband was a police officer shot and killed in the line of duty. When questioning the jurors, Ron’s defense attorney heard Juror B say to another juror, “I hope I don’t get chosen – I’m too busy to be on a jury!!”
What type of challenge will the defense attorney use to exclude Juror A?
Explain why the challenge in question 1 would be used.
What type of challenge will the defense attorney use to exclude Juror B?
Explain why the challenge in question 3 would be used.
Scenario B: Consider criminal and civil law disputes and how they are resolved. Analyze and respond to the following questions about criminal and civil cases:
In a criminal trial, explain the standard of proof necessary to find a person guilty of a crime.
In a civil trial, explain the standard of proof necessary to find a person liable for a civil offense.
Is it legally justifiable to have a higher standard of proof in criminal cases than in civil cases? Why or why not?
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