Something interesting from eLangdell.

January 6, 2013

“We begin with a hypothetical court opinion.  Suppose that plaintiff [P] brings a tort suit in federal district court under diversity of citizenship jurisdiction.  The governing statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), requires that the “matter in controversy” must exceed $75,000.  P in the complaint asks for $85,000 in compensatory damages.  Defendant [D] moves under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground that P will be unable to convince the jury to award more than $75,000.  The district judge denies the motion, writing “The face of the complaint controls the amount in controversy.”  The opinion also notes “Interest and costs cannot be added.”  Finally, the judge ruminates about the increasing federal caseload and concludes “The attorney for any plaintiff who files an inadequate amount diversity claim should be subject to Federal Rule 11 sanctions.”

This is a note.

Notes From: Roger C. Park and Douglas D. McFarland. “Computer-Aided Exercises on Civil Procedure, 6th ed.” iBooks.

About Elmer Masters

Elmer R. Masters is the Director of Technology at the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction ( where he works on interesting projects involving technology and legal education like eLangdell, Classcaster, Lawbooks, QuizWright, and the CALI website. He has over 30 years of experience building tech tools for legal education and systems for accessing law and legal materials on the Internet. He is the admin of the Teknoids mailing list ( and has been blogging about legal education, law, and technology for over 20 years ( He has a JD from Syracuse University College of Law and was employed by Syracuse, Cornell Law School, and Emory University School of Law before joining CALI in 2003. Elmer has presented at the CALI Conference for Law School Computing (where he organizes the program), the AALL and AALS Annual Meetings, Law Via The Internet, and other conferences, symposia, and workshops on topics ranging from IT management in law schools to building open access court reporting systems to information architecture design and implementation in law.
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