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Week 1 Assignment

Ch 4, Schwarzenegger v. Martin Motor Co., pages 152-155, Question 1;
Why was Schwarzenegger unable to sue Fred Martin in California?
In 2002 Fred Martin, an automobile dealer and resident of Ohio, hired Zimmerman & Partners
Advertising, Inc., an Ohio based company, to create and release a full-page advertisement in a local
Akron Ohio newspaper. The ad used a picture of Schwarzenegger without his permission. Later that
year, Schwarzenegger filed suit against both parties in Los Angeles Superior Court. These facts are
important because they speak to the issue of Jurisdiction in the case.
Jurisdiction is a court’s power to hear a dispute. “The court must have jurisdiction over both the subject
matter and the persons…involved in the case.” (McAdams, 2018, p. 151) In order for one party to
successfully sue another, the plaintiff in the case needs to establish Subject-Matter Jurisdiction AND
Personal Jurisdiction.
Personal Jurisdiction can be established if the defendant: (1) is a resident of that state, (2) is a nonresident, but is physically present in the state at the time the summons is served, or (3) is a non-resident
and has committed a tort within the state (McAdams, 2018, p. 151). There are multiple types of
personal jurisdiction. Schwarzenegger argued for General personal jurisdiction AND Specific personal
General personal jurisdiction is a strict standard which requires the defendant to have “continuous and
systematic general business contacts” within the forum state (McAdams, 2018, p. 153). Schwarzenegger
made the argument that Fred Martin had many business contacts within California. However, the court
found that those contacts fell well short of “continuous and systematic,” and that Schwarzenegger had
“failed to establish a prima facie case of general jurisdiction” (McAdams, 2018, p. 153).
“Specific personal jurisdiction refers to jurisdiction based on a person's minimum contacts with the
forum state” (USLegal, 2021). Schwarzenegger argued that Fred Martin, a non-resident defendant, had
the “minimum contacts” required for the court to obtain specific personal jurisdiction. (McAdams, 2018,
p. 153-154) There is a three-pronged test for analyzing a claim of specific personal jurisdiction. The
plaintiff “bears the burden of satisfying the first two prongs of the test” (McAdams, 2018, p. 153), AND
that if the plaintiff fails to satisfy either, jurisdiction cannot be established. The court found that
Schwarzenegger had not satisfied the first prong, which requires him to establish that Fred Martin had
“purposely availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities in California, or purposely directed its
activities toward California” (McAdams, 2018, p. 154).
This case satisfied the subject-matter jurisdiction test regarding the types of cases that courts can hear.
However, Fred Martin “removed the case to a Federal Court district” (McAdams, 2018, p. 152). He then
claimed that the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction by using a long-arm statute, which allows
“a state or federal court to secure jurisdiction against an out-of-state party,” and moved to dismiss the
case (McAdams, 2018, p. 152).
Ultimately, the court dismissed the case due to fact that Schwarzenegger had “established neither
General nor Specific jurisdiction over Fred Martin in California” (McAdams, 2018, p. 154).
If Schwarzenegger were a resident of Ohio, his case could have been successful on the grounds of
general personal jurisdiction. Conversely, if Mr. Martin directed his business dealings toward California,
Schwarzenegger may have been able to sue successfully based on specific personal jurisdiction.
Reference: USLegal. (2021). Specific Personal Jurisdiction Law and Legal Definition | USLegal,
Inc. Definitions.uslegal.com. https://definitions.uslegal.com/s/specific-personal-jurisdiction/
Ch 4, Mayer v. NFL, pages 156-157, Questions
1a – Why did Mayer lose the case?
2 Under what circumstances might a plaintiff conceivably have an actionable claim involving a sports
event gone wrong?