Mastondrea v. Occidental (NJ Sup. Ct., 2007), p. 32.
Plaintiff was injured at a Mexican hotel sued the hotel and its owners (both foreign companies) in a NJ state court. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss due to lack of personal jurisdiction.
Rule: Under NJ?s long arm statute, the defendants? tour operator contract and marketing activities constituted ?sufficient minimum contacts? to establish personal jurisdiction by the NJ court.
Complexity of legal system may necessitate legal representation
Pro se alternative
Small claims courts (in TN, can handle cases with claims up to $25,000)
An attorney will be appointed by the court in criminal cases if the defendant is ?indigent? (cannot afford an attorney on his own).
Cause of Action
Facts that indicate that a party has been legally wronged and is entitled to have a court provide a remedy.
A plaintiff must have ?standing? to sue. Only the party who has directly suffered a legal wrong has standing to bring a lawsuit.Standing requirement acts as a control on the amount of litigation