Midterm Study Questions: Th

Midterm Study Questions:

The following are the types of questions you can expect on the Midterm. The questions on the midterm, however are NOT limited to these questions. The following questions do not include the material in the California Supplement, or matters we may have discussed in class. Anything in chapters 1-3 and 5 in the California Supplement and anything we have discussed in class is covered in the midterm.



1. Most aspects of civil litigation occur in the courtroom.
2. The rules of civil procedure differ substantially from the rules of criminal procedure.
3. Rules and procedures of civil litigation are consistent from state to state.
4. In some states the initial pleading in a lawsuit is called a petition.
5. The most common method of resolving civil disputes is settlement.
6. Arbitration is a form of settlement.
7. Case law has little, if any, relevance to the law of civil procedure.
8. A litigation paralegal often appears in court.
9. Continuing legal education is important for a litigation paralegal.
10. Litigation paralegals often rely on form books and forms files.

Factual Analysis

Woo buys a new automobile. While driving the car home from the dealership, the brakes fail, the car crashes, and Woo is seriously injured. Woo retains the law firm of Kraft and Molina and they file a lawsuit claiming damages for these injuries. Brady works as a paralegal in that law firm.

11. In the lawsuit, Kraft and Molina are the plaintiffs.
12. Brady would be allowed to interview witnesses to the accident.
13. Brady would be allowed to prepare a draft of the complaint to be filed in the action.
14. Before filing a lawsuit, the parties would be required to arbitrate their dispute.
15. This is a criminal case.

Multiple Choice

16. Which of the following could not be resolved through civil litigation
a. a real estate problem
b. a contract dispute
c. the commission of a murder
d. a dispute over injuries resulting from an automobile accident
17. The process of civil litigation formally begins when one party files a
a. complaint
b. answer:
c. motion
d. writ
18. The pleading filed by a defendant denying that the plaintiff is entitled to any relief is known as the
a. petition
b. answer:
c. writ
d. summons
19. Which of the following is not an alternative to litigation
a. settlement
b. mediation
c. arbitration
d. discovery
20. An out-of-court process for resolving disputes between individuals in which a neutral party hears both sides of the dispute and then makes a decision is known as
a. arbitration
b. mediation
c. trial
d. litigation
21. Law books which contain the actual law itself are referred to as
a. form books
b. primary sources
c. secondary sources
d. legal encyclopedias
22. The primary source of the law is found in
a. codes
b. case reporters
c. constitutions
d. all of the above
23. Laws containing the methods used to enforce our rights or to obtain redress for the violation of our rights is known as
a. substantive law
b. procedural law
c. civil law
d. criminal law
24. Which of the following cannot be done by a paralegal
a. interviewing clients
b. researching law
c. drafting pleadings
d. asking questions at a deposition
25. Which of the following skills are needed by paralegals
a. ability to communicate orally and in writing
b. organizational and analytical skills
c computer literacy
d. all of the above
26. Unless a case is settled, litigation results in a __________, where parties present their evidence to a judge or jury.
27. Laws that deal with private disputes between parties are known as __________ laws.
28. Litigation formally begins when a plaintiff files a written document, known as a __________, in court.
29. If a defendant ignores a complaint and files no responsive papers, the defendant __________.
30. A defendant often challenges the allegations of a complaint with an __________.
31. After the parties have filed appropriate documents, litigation proceeds with __________, a part of the case where the parties try to find out as much as they can about the other side’s case.
32. The phrase __________ applies to the many procedures utilized by parties in an attempt to avoid litigation.
33. The area of law that creates, defines, or explains an individuals rights is known as __________.
34. A secondary source that is heavily relied upon by litigation attorneys and paralegals is the __________.
35. Paralegals cannot give __________ advice to parties.



1. Litigation usually begins in a trial court.
2. A court of appellate jurisdiction is a court where the case begins and is tried.
3.Pleadings are filed in a trial court.
4. Within the federal court system, trial courts are called superior courts.
5. Within the federal court system, a separate appellate court district exists for each of the 50 states.
6. The United States Supreme Court has original jurisdiction for some matters.
7. Trial courts within state court systems are all referred to as district courts.
8. Before proceeding with a case, the court must have either subject matter or personal jurisdiction.
9. Statutes allowing states to exercise jurisdiction over non-resident defendants are known as long-arm statutes.
10. Venue is a type of jurisdiction
Factual Analysis

Stevens, a citizen of the state of Oklahoma, was involved in an automobile accident with Jackson, a citizen of the state of Alabama. Stevens is injured and wishes to sue.

11. If the accident happened in Oklahoma, the state courts of Oklahoma could not exercise personal jurisdiction over Jackson because he is not a citizen of that state.
12. If the accident happened in Alabama, the state courts of Oklahoma would have jurisdiction to hear the case.
13. If the accident happened in Alabama, the state courts of Alabama would have jurisdiction, even though Stevens is not a citizen of that state.
14. If the accident happened in Alabama, the state courts of Alabama and Oklahoma have concurrent jurisdiction.
15. If the accident happened in Alabama, and Stevens’ damages exceed $75,000, the state courts of Alabama and the federal court have concurrent jurisdiction.
Multiple Choice
16. Trial courts are sometimes referred to as
a. courts of appellate jurisdiction
b. courts of original jurisdiction
c. lower courts
d. both b and c
17. Factual disputes are generally resolved in
a. a trial court
b. an appellate court
c. a supreme court
d. all of the above
18. The role of the appellate court includes
a. determining the credibility of witnesses at the trial level
b. reevaluating the factual determinations made by the trial court
c. determining if any legal errors occurred at the trial level
d. hearing testimony from important witnesses
19. A court of last resort is sometimes referred to as
a. a trial court
b. an appellate court
c. a supreme court
d. a court of original jurisdiction
20. In a federal case, trials generally occur in the
a. district court
b. courts of appeal
c. Supreme Court
d. all of the above
21. A three judge panel is usually found in
a. United States district courts
b. United States courts of appeal
c. United States Supreme Court
d. all of the above
22. To request a hearing in the Supreme Court a party generally files a
a. complaint
b. brief
c. petition for writ of certiorari
d. memorandum of points and authorities
23. The authority that a court has to hear a particular type of case is known as
a. subject matter jurisdiction
b. personal jurisdiction
c. in rem jurisdiction
d. quasi in rem jurisdiction
24. A state always has jurisdiction over a defendant in a lawsuit if
a. the defendant is a U.S. citizen
b. the defendant is a citizen of that state
c. the plaintiff sustained injuries or damages within the state
d. both b and c
25. Proper venue in a federal action based on diversity of citizenship can be determined by
a. either the defendant’s residence or the place where the cause of action arose
b. only by the defendant’s residence
c. only by the plaintiff’s residence
d. only by where the cause of action arose


26. A court where a case begins and is tried is a court of __________ jurisdiction.
27. A court of appeals reviews what happened in the __________ court.
28. An appellate court’s role is to determine if any __________errors occurred in the trial court.
29. Trial courts in the federal system are known as __________ court
30. The power that a court has to hear a particular case is known as __________jurisdiction..
31. In rem jurisdiction is based on the fact that __________ located within a state is the subject of the lawsuit.
32. Jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship requires that if money damages are requested, the amount in dispute must exceed __________.
33. Another term for supplemental jurisdiction of the federal courts is __________ jurisdiction.
34. When an appellate court changes a lower court’s decision and sends the case back for retrial, the court __________ the case.
35. In order to invoke quasi in rem jurisdiction, the defendant’s property must be brought before the court in an __________ proceeding.


1. A cause of action is a legally recognized right to relief.
2. Each element of a cause of action must be proven at trial in order for the plaintiff to prevail.
3. A paralegal’s understanding of the elements of a cause of action in any particular case is relatively unimportant.
4. If a case is not filed within the appropriate statute of limitations, the case will be dismissed regardless of the merits of the case.
5. All federal lawsuits must be filed within one year of the date the cause of action arises.
6. The doctrine known as laches requires plaintiffs to present written claims to defendants prior to filing lawsuits.
7. An efficient tickler system is essential for keeping track of time limitations on cases.
8. Because of the conflict of interest, a law firm can never sue a party whom it has previously represented.
9. An attorney can commingle his own personal assets with property belonging to a client as long as the attorney keeps accurate records.
10. Litigation paralegals need not be concerned with ethical problems, since various canons of ethics and rules of professional conduct apply only to attorneys.

Factual Analysis

Fenton works as a paralegal in a law firm which represents Kramer in a claim for damages resulting from an automobile accident. Kramer was a passenger in a car driven by DiSalvo. The accident occurred when DiSalvo negligently ran a stop sign. DiSalvo is represented by the law firm of Ogawa and Robles.

11. Assume that Fenton’s brother-in-law once worked for DiSalvo. This would create a conflict of interest and the law firm should refer Kramer to another attorney
12. Assume that Fenton once worked for the law firm of Ogawa and Robles, although he never worked on any cases involving DiSalvo. This would create a conflict of interest and Fenton should not be allowed to work on the Kramer case.
13. Fenton discusses this case in great detail, mentioning names, with Steele, a close friend a paralegal who works for a different law firm. Steele promises not to repeat anything. Fenton has nevertheless breached a duty of confidentiality.
14. Fenton is asked to do some investigation regarding this case. Fenton telephones DiSalvo, without the knowledge or consent of DiSalvo’s attorneys, and asks DiSalvo questions about the case. As long as Fenton is properly identified as a paralegal working for Kramer, this conduct on the part of Fenton is permissible.
15. Ogawa and Robles are probably handling this case on a contingent fee basis.
Multiple Choice

16. The existence of a cause of action
a. is necessary to a lawsuit
b. is related to the law governing a particular case
c. is related to the facts of a particular case
d. all of the above
17. Knowing the elements of a cause of action in a case enables the paralegal to
a. gather appropriate evidence
b. assist in conducting relevant discovery
c. draft and review pleadings
d. all of the above
18. Statutes of limitation are generally found in
a. codes
b. cases
c. constitutions
d. all of the above
19. Which of the following never starts the running of a statute of limitations
a. the date a wrongful act occurs
b. the date the plaintiff discovers a wrongful act
c. the date the plaintiff retains an attorney
d. all of the above
20. Claim statutes commonly apply when
a. a lawsuit results from an automobile accident
b. the defendant in a lawsuit is a governmental entity
c. the plaintiff in a lawsuit is a governmental entity
d. both b and c
21. A tickler system is
a. a computerized system to keep track of potential conflicts of interest
b. a calendaring system
c. a complete list of current and past defendants
d. both a and c
22. If an attorney decides not to take a case, that attorney should always
a. clearly communicate that fact to the concerned individual
b. fully explain the reasons for turning down the case
c. refer the individual to another attorney for a second opinion
d. all of the above
23. A contingent fee arrangement means that
a. the attorney bills for each hour spent on the case
b. the attorney has accepted a fixed sum to handle the case
c. the attorney will take a percentage of the recovery as the fee
d. the attorney will recover the fee from the defendant

24. Funds belonging to a client should be kept
a. in the law firm’s general account
b. in the attorney’s personal account
c. in the law firm’s trust account
d. either a or c

25. Keeping an accurate and complete client list is important so that the law firms can
a. send out notices when attorneys enter or leave the law firm
b. determine and avoid conflicts of interest
c. send regular accountings of all trust monies to clients
d. all of the above


26. Each element of a __________ must be proven at trial in order for plaintiff to prevail
27. In professional malpractice cases, statutes of limitation often begin to run on the date of __________ of the wrong doing.
28. In lieu of statutes of limitations, lawsuits against governmental entities must meet time requirements found in __________ statutes.
29. Time limitations in equitable cases are often affected by the principle of __________, which is based on the concept of fairness.
30. Attorneys are subject to codes of conduct referred to as Cannons of Ethics or Rules of __________.
31. A conflict of interest can arise when a law firm is asked to sue a party whom it previously __________.
32. Communication between an attorney and client is __________, and should never be repeated without the client’s consent.
33. Written fee agreements are often called __________ agreements.
34. Client funds must always be kept in the attorney’s __________ account.
35. Both NALA and NFPA have developed ethical guidelines to govern __________.



1. All documents filed in court are known as pleadings.

2. Courts generally take a liberal attitude in determining the legal sufficiency of pleadings.

3. All complaints contain a verification.
4. When parties in a lawsuit are required to be joined, they are sometimes referred to as indispensable parties.
5. A complaint usually contains allegations showing that the court in which the action is filed has both jurisdiction and venue.
6. All complaints filed in federal court must expressly state a cause of action.
7. Punitive damages are also referred to as exemplary damages.
8. A summons is a court order, directing a defendant to appear personally in court.
9. All complaints must be personally served on the defendant.
10. A complaint and summons in a federal action can usually be served by the plaintiff, a licensed process server or by the U.S. Marshall.
Factual Analysis

Piazza, a pedestrian was injured when struck by a vehicle driven by Delaney, who ran a stop sign. At the time of the accident, Delaney, an interior designer, was on his way to a client’s home. The vehicle that Delaney was driving was owned by Exquisite Homes, the company Delaney worked for. In fact, Exquisite Homes is an incorporated business whose legal corporate name is DGA, Inc. The business is a small corporation whose shareholders are Delaney, Gregorio and Allen. They are also the directors and officers of the corporation. Piazza wishes to sue for his injuries.

11. Piazza would probably sue for a type of damage known as compensatory damages.
12. Piazza’s medical bills are an item of special damages
13. Piazza’s pain and suffering is an item of special damages
14. Delaney should not be named as a defendant in this lawsuit since she is a director and officer of the corporation.
15. If Exquisite Homes is sued it should be identified in the complaint as “DGA, Inc., a corporation, doing business as Exquisite Homes.
Multiple Choice

16. Technical rules regarding form and content of pleadings are often found in
a. case law
b. form books
c. local rules of court
c. state constitutions
17. The part of a complaint or petition that identifies the parties to the lawsuit is known as
a. the caption
b. the allegations
c. the prayer
a. the subscription
18. An express statement under penalty of perjury that the contents of a document are true is known as
a. an allegation
b. a contention
c. a verification
a. a subscription
19. A five year old child cannot maintain a lawsuit in his own name because
a. the child is not a real party in interest
b. a child lacks capacity to sue
c. a child does not have status to sue
d. all of the above
20. Jaworsky, the driver of a vehicle, and Bigelow, a passenger in that car, were both injured in an automobile accident caused by the negligence of Thornton, the operator of another vehicle. Jaworsky and Bigelow are both allowed to sue Thornton in the same complaint because of the law regarding
a. permissive joinder
b. compulsory joinder
c. class actions
d. indispensable parties
21. A complaint filed in federal court
a. is limited to one claim or count
b. need not contain a specific demand for relief
c. should contain an allegation setting forth the basis for federal jurisdiction
d. all of the above
22. Andrews and Bates have a written contract in which Bates promised to sell Andrews a piece of real estate. Bates, refused to complete the transaction. Andrews sued Bates for specific performance asking the court to order Bates to complete the sale. This action
a. is for compensatory damages
b. is for punitive damages
c. is for equitable relief
e. is for declarative relief
23. A court order requiring that a party take some action or refrain from certain conduct issued by a court without a formal hearing at the beginning or a lawsuit is known as
a. a temporary restraining order
b. a preliminary injunction
c. a permanent injunction
d. declaratory relief
24. Service of a complaint and summons on a corporation is accomplished by
a. serving any director of the corporation
b. serving any employee of the corporation
c. serving the agent for service of process
d. both a and c

25. A plaintiff is usually allowed to amend a complaint
a. at any time by simply filing an amended complaint
b. only as long as the defendant has not filed an answer:
c. only if the plaintiff has obtained a prior court order
d. if all other parties have stipulated in writing that the complaint can be amended

26. All complaints contain __________ which are statements describing the contentions and defenses of the parties to the lawsuit.
27. The attorney’s signature at the end of a complaint is called a __________.

28. Minors and incompetents must have a __________ appointed in order to pursue a lawsuit.
29. The term “dba” refers to a business that uses a __________.
30. Fictitiously names defendants, often found in complaints filed in state court, are known as __________.

31. When the number of potential plaintiffs in an action becomes too numberous to be practically joined and named, a __________ can result.
32. When a plaintiff has multiple claims against a defendant, the resulting lawsuit may contain numerous causes or action or __________.
33. The demand for relief in a complaint is often referred to as a __________.
34. When a complaint if filed, the court assign a __________ number.
35. The document issued by the court clerk at the time of filing a complaint is known as a __________.