Multiple Choice Question from the 2007 Civ Pro Exam
Hard Essay Question from the 2007 CivPro Exam

Multiple Choice Question from the 2007 Civ Pro Exam

7.    P sues D for negligence in federal court in connection with personal injuries that P sustained in a 3-car accident involving cars driven by P, D, and X. Which of the following is the most accurate statement about actions that may, may not, or must be joined to P’s action against D? (Do not take into account subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, or venue in answering this question.)
    
a.    D may, but does not have to, join an action against X for damages that D sustained as a result of X’s negligence in the accident.
b.    P may, but does not have to, join an action against D for breach of an unrelated contract. 
c.    D may, but does not have to, join an action against P for the damages that D sustained as a result of P’s negligence in the accident.
d.    If P is suing D for the totality of damages that P sustained due to D’s and X’s conjoined negligence (that is, if P is suing D under the theory that D and X were joint tortfeasors), D must join an action against X for contribution.
e.    If P is suing D for the totality of damages that P sustained due to D’s and X’s conjoined negligence (that is, if P is suing D under the theory that D and X were joint tortfeasors), P may not join an action against X for P’s damages due to X’s negligence. 

ANSWER

Answer a is wrong. D may not join such an action. To join an action against X under 14(a), D must allege that X is liable to D for all or part of D’s liability to P. That’s not so here. 

Answer c is wrong. D must join the described action. See Rule 13(a).  

Answer d is wrong. See Rule 14(a). D may, but does not have to join a contribution action. D may instead choose to sue X for contribution in a separate lawsuit. 

Answer e is wrong. There is nothing in the joinder rules forbidding this. It is true that the final relief to P can’t give him double recovery. He can’t get damages from D for X’s negligence and damages from X for X’s negligence. But that does not mean he can’t join these parties. 

The correct answer is b. Such joinder is allowed under Rule 18(a). The point biserial was .45.

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