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Current Law Students / Civil Pro Sample Question - Personal Jurisdiction
« on: September 01, 2007, 11:10:55 AM »
Does anyone want to try this question below?

Kelly and Michael Williams, passengers in a car driven by Patrick Kelsey, sustained serious injuries when returning from a trip to Lakeview’s Gold Strike Inn and Casino in Nevada (“the Casino”).  Mr. Kelsey was also returning from gambling at the Casino when the accident occurred.  The Williams are Arizona residents and the accident occurred in Mohave County, Arizona.

The Casino is located just a few miles from the Arizona/Nevada border.  The Casino derives business advantage from its location as the first Casino Arizonans encounter when they cross the border, and considers its location a valuable business asset.  Indeed, the Casino regularly advertises in Arizona, both for individual customers and for tour operators to bus tourist groups to the Casino.  That advertising has proved successful. Each day, ten to fifteen tour buses stop at the Casino, bringing approximately 300 potential customers.  Four to six buses each week come from Arizona, and tour bus trade is an important part of the Casino’s business.

The Casino regularly runs a full-page advertisement in the Cerbat Gem, a newspaper that serves northwestern Mohave County, including the area in which plaintiffs reside.  The Casino acknowledges that each advertisement solicits the patronage of its “Arizona neighbors” and that it appreciates the business of its Arizona customers.  It also relies on Arizona to help supply its work force; seventeen of the Casino’s employees reside in Arizona.

The Casino does not regularly conduct business in Arizona, nor does it have any agents, offices, property, or other physical presence within Arizona.  Further, its partners are all residents of Nevada, and it owns no real or personal property in Arizona.

Arizona’s long-arm statute is very broad and is intended to allow Arizona courts to exert personal jurisdiction over a non-resident litigant to the maximum extent permitted by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution of the United States.  Plaintiffs Kelly and Michael Williams filed suit against the Casino in Arizona federal district court, and allege that the accident occurred because the Casino employees “overserved” alcoholic beverages to Mr. Kelsey.  Defendant Casino moved to dismiss, claiming that Arizona courts lack personal jurisdiction over it  because the alleged “overserving” occurred in Nevada and the plaintiffs’ injuries do not relate to the Casino’s solicitations for business in Arizona.

    Advise the court on whether to grant or deny the Defendants’ motion.   Do not discuss venue.

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