Multiple Choice Question from the 2006 CivPro Exam
A Warning for My New CivPro Class

Hard Multiple Choice Question from the 2006 CivPro Exam

2              P, a citizen of Ohio, files a complaint in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against General Motors (a citizen of Michigan and Delaware) and Ford (a citizen of Michigan and Delaware) on behalf of a class of 100 million American urban dwellers, alleging that the defendants violated the Sherman Antitrust Act (a federal statute) and Michigan state antitrust law by conspiring to restrain the development of automobile air pollution mechanisms, thereby polluting the atmosphere of North America and causing the plaintiff class damages of $100 billion dollars (i.e. $1000 for each member of the plaintiff class). The defendants are properly served. Which of the following is most accurate?

a.     The Michigan state antitrust actions should be dismissed for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction, since aggregation of plaintiffs’ claims is not allowed to meet the jurisdictional minimum. (Ignore the recently-enacted jurisdictional provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act for this answer.)

b.     Both the federal and the state antitrust actions should be dismissed for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction, since aggregation of plaintiffs’ claims is not allowed to meet the jurisdictional minimum. (Ignore the recently-enacted jurisdictional provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act for this answer.)

c.     If P has offered no evidentiary support of his factual allegations of an antitrust conspiracy, his complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

d.     P’s complaint should be dismissed for failure to satisfy the pleading requirements in Rule 9(b).

e.     P’s Sherman Act action should be dismissed for failure to state a claim, since conspiracy to restrain the development of automobile air pollution mechanisms is not restraint of trade of the sort encompassed by the Sherman Act. 

ANSWER

a.
The Michigan state antitrust actions should be dismissed for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction, since aggregation of plaintiffs’ claims is not allowed to meet the jurisdictional minimum. (Ignore the recently-enacted jurisdictional provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act for this answer.)

Wrong. Aggregation is irrelevant, because meeting the jurisdictional minimum for diversity is unnecessary. The Michigan state antitrust actions would all have supplemental jurisdiction, since they would all be part of the same constitutional case or controversy as the Sherman Act actions, which have federal question jurisdiction.

b.
Both the federal and the state antitrust actions should be dismissed for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction, since aggregation of plaintiffs’ claims is not allowed to meet the jurisdictional minimum. (Ignore the recently-enacted jurisdictional provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act for this answer.)

Wrong. Aggregation is irrelevant, because meeting the jurisdictional minimum for diversity is unnecessary. The Sherman Act actions all have federal question jurisdiction. And the Michigan state antitrust actions all have supplemental jurisdiction. (See a.)

c.
If P has offered no evidentiary support of his factual allegations of an antitrust conspiracy, his complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

Wrong. This is gibberish. Dismissal for failure to state a claim is justified when the plaintiff’s allegations fail to assert any violation of the law. Evidentiary support is irrelevant.

d.
P’s complaint should be dismissed for failure to satisfy the pleading requirements in Rule 9(b).

Wrong. Rule 9(b) applies to allegations of fraud and mistake. No allegations of fraud or mistake have been made.

e.
P’s Sherman Act action should be dismissed for failure to state a claim, since conspiracy to restrain the development of automobile air pollution mechanisms is not restraint of trade of the sort encompassed by the Sherman Act.


Correct. This is the best answer. If indeed the Sherman Act does not provide relief for conspiracy to restrain the development of air pollution mechanisms, then dismissal for failure to state a claim would be appropriate.





 



 





 



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