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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
relevant to this discussion because they speak to the complex issue of Jurisdiction in this 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.
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
argued that the court could not use a long-arm statute, which allows “a state or federal court to secure
jurisdiction against an out-of-state party,” to exercise personal jurisdiction and moved to dismiss the
case (McAdams, 2018, p. 152).
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 nonresident 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).
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.
Note: Venue, “the specific geographic location in which a court holding should properly hear a case,” did
not appear to be an issue in the court’s ruling.
Ch 4, Mayer v. NFL, pages 156-157, Questions: 1a
Why did Mayer lose the case?
Mayer did not have standing to sue. Standing can be defined as having direct and substantial interest in
the outcome of the matter, as well as being able to demonstrate that you will suffer, or are suffering,
injury (McAdams, 2018, p. 156).
Mayer bought a ticket to enter the stadium and watch an NFL football game of the New England Patriots
vs the New York Jets. The ticket in his possession stated that it “only grants entry into the stadium and a
spectator seat” to see that specific game. (McAdams, 2018, p. 157) The Jets lost.
During that game, the New England Patriots were caught cheating, which contributed to the Patriots
winning the game. Mayer, a Jets fan, “sued on behalf of himself and a class of Jets season ticketholders
claiming the improper conduct violated the contractual expectations and rights of the ticketholders”
(McAdams, 2018, p. 156).
Since Mayer had in fact been able to enter the stadium and watch the game, “the federal district court
ruled that he had failed to demonstrate an actionable injury” (McAdams, 2018, p. 156).
Since Mayer was unable to demonstrate any actionable injury, the court appropriately ruled that he did
not have standing to sue.
I believe that if he had been denied entry to the game, through no fault of his own, and suffered some
type of actionable injury as a result, he could have established standing.
According to the court, under what circumstances might a plaintiff conceivably have an actionable
claim involving a sports event gone wrong?
According to court, if a ticket holder is granted access to the stadium and provided a seat to watch the
game, there may be other situations in which a plaintiff may be able to establish standing.
The examples included, “the game or games were canceled, strike replacement players were used, or
the professional football teams themselves did something nonsensical or absurd, such as deciding to
play basketball” (McAdams, 2018, p. 157).
I believe that canceled games and the teams deciding to play basketball are the clearest examples of
situations that could lead to a plaintiff establishing standing. Someone with a ticket expects to see an
NFL game. If it is canceled, they are unable to do that. If the ticketholder wanted to see a basketball
game, they would have purchased a different kind of ticket. Under these circumstances, the ticket seller
may be in breach of the purchase agreement, and a plaintiff could demonstrate an actionable injury.
Lopez vs Lopez, (Fourteenth Court of Appeals August 6, 2020).
McAdams, T. (2018). Law, Business, and Society. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
McClure Law Group. (2020, August 17). Threats of Criminal Prosecution Can Constitute Duress in Texas
Divorce Case. Texas Divorce Attorney Blog. https://www.mcclure-lawgroup.com/blog/threatsof-criminal-prosecution-can-constitute-duress-in-texas-divorce-case/