Mrs. Claypool, an aspiring society matron, hears that the director of the New York Opera Company, Herman Gottlieb, is seeking a patron. Claypool believes this is a perfect way to enhance her standing in society. She hires Otis Driftwood to act as her agent in negotiating a deal with Gottlieb, under which Claypool will donate $500,000 to the Opera Company so it can hire Rodolfo Lassparri, the greatest tenor in the world. In exchange, Gottlieb agrees to name the Opera House after Claypool.
Driftwood goes to meet Lassparri, intending to sign him to a contract with the Opera Company to close the deal between Claypool & Gottlieb. Along the way, he meets Fiorello, a genial con artist, who tricks Driftwood into signing Lassparri’s rival, Baroni, instead. When Gottlieb discovers what has happened, he renegs on his agreement to name the Opera House after Claypool.
A furious Claypool sues Gottlieb for breach of contract, seeking restitution of the $500,000 she donated to the Opera Company. She also sues Driftwood for breach of contract & fraud over his role in the failure of the Opera Company deal, seeking $50,000 (the amount she paid Driftwood for his services as her agent) plus punitive damages. Claypool brings her suit in federal court.Assume that the court would have subject matter jurisdiction over all claims and personal jurisdiction over all parties.
Is joinder of Gottlieb and Driftwood as defendants proper under the FRCP?
Assume that Claypool sues only Gottlieb. Gottlieb’s defense is that his promise to name the Opera House after Claypool was contingent upon signing Lasparri to a contract with the Opera Company, and that Driftwood’s failure to fulfill that part of the deal means that Gottlieb is not contractually obligated to honor his promise to Claypool. Is Driftwood a person required to be joined if feasible under the FRCP?
Assume instead that Claypool sues only Dritwood. May Gottlieb intervene as a plaintiff to assert a claim against Driftwood for failure to sign Lasparri to a contract with the Opera Company?
Assume that Claypool sued both Gottlieb & Driftwood and that their joinder as co-defendants was proper under the FRCP.
For each of the following additional claims, explain whether joinder is proper under the FRCP:
A claim by Driftwood against Claypool for breach of contract, seeking $25,000 he contends she still owes him for his services under their contract.
A claim by Driftwood against Claypool for battery, alleging that she poured a bowl of hot soup over his head when he clumsily attempted to woo her during a party to celebrate the ill-fated Opera deal.
A claim by Gottlieb against Driftwood, alleging that the Opera Company lost 50% of its anticipated season ticket sales because of the failure to sign Lassparri.
A claim by Gottlieb against Driftwood for breach of contract in an unrelated business transaction in which Driftwood was to supply the Opera Company with costumes.
A claim by Driftwood against Fiorello and Baroni, asserting that if Driftwood is found liable to Claypool or Gottlieb for his failure to sign Lasparri, Fiorello and Baroni must cover all or part of any damages Driftwood is ordered to pay Claypool or Gottlieb, because it was their fault Driftwood failed to sign Lasparri.
A claim by Driftwood against Fiorello and Baroni, seeking $25,000 against them, jointly and severally, for defrauding him into signing Baroni to the Opera contract. The $25,000 represents the commission Driftwood expected to earn by signing Lasparri.
A claim by Baroni against Driftwood for failure to pay Baroni in accordance with the contract that Driftwood signed.