Seler, a citizen of State S, and Byer, a citizen of State B, met in State B and signed a written contract by which Seler agreed to sell Whiteacre, located in State W, to Byer. The contract provided that the purchase price of Whiteacre was $85,000. Seler returned to State S and sent Byer a deed conveying good title to Whiteacre. Byer did not send Seler any money but brought an action against Seler for reformation of the contract to correct an alleged error in the contract price. Byer alleged that the agreed price was $37,500, and that the $85,000 figure in the contract was a typographical error. The action was brought in a federal district court in State B. Subject matter jurisdiction was based on diversity. Personal jurisdiction over Seler was based on service of process under State B’s long-arm statute. A. Seler moved to dismiss the action, alleging lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction. The motion was denied. B. Seler then filed an answer asserting that the written contract accurately stated the agreed price. In addition, he counterclaimed for the $85,000 purchase price set forth in the contract and demanded a jury trial. Byer answered the counterclaim and moved to strike the demand for jury trial. The motion was denied. C. Seler then served Byer with interrogatories demanding responses to the following questions: “(1) Have you had Whiteacre appraised? (2) If so, state by whom, state the appraised value or values, and attach copies of all written reports received from all appraisers.” Over Byer’s timely objections to the interrogatories, the court ordered disclosure only of the identity of appraisers and the property’s appraised values. D. At trial, Byer testified that the agreed price was $37,500 and that the $85,000 figure in the written contract was a typographical error. An appraiser testified on behalf of Byer that the value of Whiteacre when the contract was signed was, at most, $42,200. Byer rested his case. Seler testified that the agreed price was $85,000, and judgment was entered accordingly. Byer promptly moved for “judgment as a matter of law” under FRCP 50. The court granted the motion. No other motions were made during or after trial.
1. Did the court rule correctly on the motion to dismiss? Discuss.
2. Did the court rule correctly on the motion to strike the demand for a jury trial? Discuss.
3. Did the court rule correctly on the objection to the interrogatories? Discuss.
4. Was the evidence admitted at trial such that the court was correct in granting the motion for judgment? Discuss.
5. What procedural argument or arguments should Seler have made in opposition to the motion for judgment? Discuss.