SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES DYSON, NATHAN no. 11-444-cv in the supreme court of the united...

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Transcript of SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES DYSON, NATHAN no. 11-444-cv in the supreme court of the united...

  • NO. 11-444-CV

    IN THE

    SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

    LAURA DYSON, NATHAN DYSON, SANDRA DYSON, BONNIE DYSON,

    Petitioners,

    V.

    MIRACLE CHARACTERS, INC., MIRACLE WORLDWIDE, INC., MIRACLE ENTERTAINMENT, INC.,

    Respondents.

    ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

    FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

    BRIEF FOR PETITIONERS

    ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED

    Team I Counsel for Petitioners

  •   ii

    QUESTIONS PRESENTED

    I. Whether the Second Circuit properly found that exercising personal jurisdiction over Laura and Nathan Dyson would violate due process when Laura and Nathan Dyson did not transact business in New York and the maintenance of a lawsuit in New York is unreasonable.

    II. Whether the Second Circuit erred when it utilized the instance and expense test, rather than adhering to the plain meaning of the 1909 Act, to find the works of John Dyson works-for-hire.

  •   iii

    TABLE OF CONTENTS QUESTIONS PRESENTED ........................................................................................................... ii TABLE OF AUTHORITIES ........................................................................................................... v STATEMENT REGARDING ORAL ARGUMENT ..................................................................... 1 OPINIONS BELOW ....................................................................................................................... 1 STATUTORY PROVISIONS ......................................................................................................... 1 STATEMENT OF THE CASE ...................................................................................................... 1

    A. Factual Background ............................................................................................................. 1

    B. Procedural Background ...................................................................................................... 3 STANDARD OF REVIEW ............................................................................................................. 4 STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION ............................................................................................... 4 SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT .............................................................................................. 4 ARGUMENT ................................................................................................................................... 6

    I. THE SECOND CIRCUIT CORRECTLY DETERMINED THAT IT LACKED PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS LAURA AND NATHAN DYSON BECAUSE NEW YORK’S LONG-ARM STATUTE DOES NOT AUTHORIZE JURISDICTION, AND THE EXERCISE OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION WOULD VIOLATE DUE PROCESS. .............................................. 6

    A. New York’s Long-Arm Statute Does Not Authorize Personal Jurisdiction Over Laura and Nathan Dyson Because Laura and Nathan Dyson Did Not Transact Business in New York; Therefore, the Claim Did Not Arise From the Business Transaction. ........................................................................................................................ 7 1. Personal jurisdiction does not exist as to Laura and Nathan Dyson because mailing

    termination notices does not constitute a business transaction in New York. ............... 8

    2. Because Laura and Nathan Dyson did not transact business in New York, the claim did not arise from the business transaction. ................................................................. 12

  •   iv

    B. Even If This Court Finds Personal Jurisdiction Exists, the Exercise of Jurisdiction Violates Due Process. ....................................................................................................... 13 1. Laura and Nathan Dyson did not establish minimum contacts with New York. ........ 15

    2. Forcing Laura and Nathan Dyson to maintain a lawsuit in New York is

    unreasonable. ............................................................................................................... 16 II. THE SECOND CIRCUIT ERRED BY NOT APPLYING THE PLAIN MEANING

    OF THE 1909 ACT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE WORKS OF DYSON WERE WORKS-FOR-HIRE, AND EVEN IF THIS COURT APPLIES THE INSTANCE AND EXPENSE TEST, MIRACLE FAILED TO MEET ITS BURDEN. ......................................................................................................................... 18

    A. The Instance and Expense Test is Improper to Determine Whether Dyson’s Works Qualify as Works-For-Hire Because it is Contradictory to the Plain Meaning of the 1909 Act and Supreme Court Precedent. ...................................................................... 19 1. The lower courts misapplied the instance and expense test to determine works-for- hire, which is a recognized misinterpretation of precedent. ......................................... 20 2. The proper interpretation of works-for-hire is the plain language of the 1909 Act. .... 22

    B. Even If This Court Applies the Instance and Expense Test, Miracle Failed to Meet Its Burden of Proving That the Works of Dyson Were Works-for-Hire. .................. 24

    1. Miracle failed to satisfy the instance prong because Miracle did not meet its burden of proving that Dyson’s works were initiated or engaged by Miracle. ............................. 25 2. Miracle cannot satisfy the expense prong because Dyson shouldered the financial risk of creation in the works and was paid a contingent flat rate. ....................................... 28

    CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................. 31 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE ...................................................................................................... 32 APPENDICES ............................................................................................................................... 33

  •   v

    TABLE OF AUTHORITIES UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT CASES Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986) ............................................................................................................ 4, 25 Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Super. Ct. of Cal., 480 U.S. 102 (1987) .......................................................................................................... 13, 17 Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462 (1985) ......................................................................................................... passim Cmty. for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid, 490 U.S. 730 (1989) ................................................................................................................ 21 Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408 (1984) ................................................................................................................ 14 Int’l News Serv. v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918) ................................................................................................................ 18 Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945) .......................................................................................................... 13, 14 Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770 (1984) ................................................................................................................ 14 Kulko v. Super. Ct. of Cal., 436 U.S. 84 (1978) .................................................................................................................. 15 Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201 (1954) ................................................................................................................ 19 Molzof v. United States, 502 U.S. 301 (1992) ................................................................................................................ 23 Omni Capital Int’l, Ltd. v. Rudolf Wolff & Co., 484 U.S. 97 (1987) .................................................................................................................... 6 Park ‘N Fly, Inc. v. Dollar Park & Fly, Inc., 469 U.S. 189 (1985) ................................................................................................................ 23 Rush v. Savchuk, 444 U.S. 320 (1980) .......................................................................................................... 15, 16

  •   vi

    Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186 (1977) .................................................................................................... 13, 14, 15 Standard Oil Co. of N.J. v. United States, 221 U.S. 1 (1911) .................................................................................................................... 23 World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980) .......................................................................................................... 15, 16 UNITED STATES COURTS OF APPEALS CASES Beacon Enters., Inc. v. Menzies, 715 F.2d 757 (2d Cir. 1983) ...................................................................................... 8, 9, 10, 13 Bensusan Rest. Corp. v. King, 126 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 1997) ........................................................