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Author Topic: Procedural Question  (Read 867 times)

Blue08

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Procedural Question
« on: September 10, 2009, 10:00:17 AM »
I read a case for class today (not civpro) that contained a procedural quirk that has been bothering me.

A dispute is filed in state court and is appealed through the supreme court of that state. The case contains a Constitutional issue and is heard by the SCOTUS, which ultimately remands the case back to the state supreme court. At this point the state supreme court decides the case for the plaintiff on a theory not pleaded by the plaintiff at the trial level (P sued for breach of contract, but recovers on a promissory estoppel theory).

From the editing of my casebook I can't tell at what point the new theory was introduced, how, or by whom. How can this occur? Obviously I read the case for contracts so the book isn't going to focus on procedure. And I don't really care about specifics. I am just wondering, in general, how a new legal theory might be introduced by or for a plaintiff at any appellate level.

Ninja1

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 12:12:20 PM »
*Tag to see the answer.

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M_Cool

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 01:33:09 PM »
it was probably pleaded at the trial level.  what case is this?

Blue08

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 01:43:55 PM »
Cohen v. Cowles Media Co. (1991)

"Apparently, a promissory estoppel theory was never tried to the jury, nor briefed nor argued by [501 U.S. 663, 667]   the parties; it first arose during oral argument in the Minnesota Supreme Court when one of the justices asked a question about equitable estoppel. See App. 38."


nealric

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 02:06:43 PM »
Usually you can't bring something up on appeal that was not raised at trial, but there are some exceptions- usually based on some theory of equity.

One I can think of off the top of my head would be in criminal cases. A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel can be raised on appeal even though it was not at trial. Of course, counsel wouldn't raise the issue of his/her own ineffective assistance, so its impossible to get the issue heard unless you can raise it on appeal. Usually the standard is very high for things like this (ineffective assistance of counsel claims rarely succeed).
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Ninja1

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 04:07:58 AM »
...

A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel can be raised on appeal even though it was not at trial. Of course, counsel wouldn't raise the issue of his/her own ineffective assistance

...


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Matthies

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 10:15:00 AM »
In a collateral appeal the court can look beyond the four corners of the case and look at evidence not presented in trial like affidavits, witness statements, ect. Not all states have a collateral appeal option though. 
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jacy85

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Re: Procedural Question
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 09:24:48 AM »
If you can't tell from the edited version of the case, pull up the full case and the earlier opinions on westlaw/lexis.  You'll more than likely find the answer there.