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Schultz v. Cally

December 30, 1975

ALBERT SCHULTZ, APPELLANT,
v.
FRANK R. CALLY AND AMOS PURCELL, APPELLEES AND CROSS-APPELLANTS



Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (District Court No. 1513-71).

Van Dusen, Hastie and Hunter, Circuit Judges. Van Dusen, Circuit Judge, concurring.

Author: Hunter

HUNTER, Circuit Judge:

This case serves as a graphic illustration of the ways in which an essentially simple lawsuit can become unnecessarily complicated when the parties fail to delineate their factual and legal approaches at an appropriate stage of the proceedings. The disposition of this appeal that we now make further demonstrates that the time and efforts of neither the court nor the parties have been wisely utilized.

I

Plaintiff Schultz sued defendants Cally and Purcell, alleging that he "was fraudulently induced to invest the sum of $25,000 by the defendant[s] . . . in a corporation known as Scaico Controls, Inc. and invested the sum . . . on certain representations made by the defendant[s] . . . which representations were false, misleading, dishonest, and fraudulent intending to induce the plaintiff to invest. . . ." Complaint, para. 2. After a four-day trial to a jury, plaintiff recovered a judgment for $25,000. At a post-trial hearing, plaintiff moved for the assessment of costs and interest, while defendant moved for judgment NOV or a new trial. The trial court denied the defendants' motions and granted the plaintiff's motions only as to statutory costs and post-judgment interest. Both parties have appealed.

The presentation of the case in this court has been seriously deficient. We note first that appellant (Schultz) did not file a brief in response to the cross-appeal. Neither party has included in its brief the required statement of subject-matter jurisdiction, or the required statement of the standard of review. 3d Cir. R. 21(1). In addition, the appendix filed by appellant contains none of the pleadings and no part of the trial testimony. Fed. R. App. P. 30a.

Because we found it difficult to understand or evaluate the arguments of the parties from the limited materials provided, we set this case for oral argument although counsel for both sides had agreed to submit the case without oral argument. Since the claims of both parties depend on the extent to which federal securities law was implicated in the trial of this case, counsel were questioned as to the jurisdictional basis of the suit in the district court. Counsel for appellant initially stated that the complaint was based on both the federal statutes and on common law, while counsel for appellees claimed that only common law had been at issue.

II

At the outset we must notice a consequence of this uncertainty as to controlling law more serious than those briefed and argued by the parties. The second (unnumbered) and third (paragraph "1") paragraphs of the complaint state that:

Jurisdiction of this Court is based on diversity of citizenship, plaintiff being a New Jersey resident, defendant being a New York resident, and upon Section 27 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C., Section 78 [78aa] the amount in controversy exceed [sic] $10,000.

FIRST COUNT

1. The defendant, Frank Cally, is an Attorney at Law of the State of New York, having his principal place of business at 150 Broadway, New York City, New York.

Since there are no other allegations even arguably relevant to the citizenship of the parties, the complaint fails to set forth the elements of the claimed diversity. Even if plaintiff had properly alleged that he is a citizen of New Jersey and that Cally is a citizen of New York, the complaint would be fatally defective for failure to allege the citizenship of defendant Purcell. The record makes it clear that Purcell is a citizen of New Jersey. (E.g., Transcript of Proceedings, April 3, 1974, p. 10-15). Since total diversity has not been shown, 28 U.S.C. ยง 1332*fn1 is not available. ...


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