Party Joinder

Mosley v. General Motors
  • 10 plaintiffs suing GM, alleging discrimination, some African-American, some women, lots of different issues that each has.
  • Want to challenge discriminatory practices of GM.
  • Each can sue on their own—can they join together as plaintiffs?
    • See Rule 20: multiple plaintiffs can join together—or a single plaintiff can join multiple defendant’s—provided
      • 1. that all the plaintiffs/defendants joined are alleged to have been involved in same transaction or series of related transactions; and
      • 2. at least one common question of law or fact unite all the parties and claims. (Yeazell, p. 743.)
        • Question of law or fact common to all persons (“common question”).
    • 8th Circuit says: policy of discrimination unites all claims
  • This case represents how generous Rule 20 is, especially in cases of discrimination.
  • Why does GM want to break up this lawsuit?
    • A parade of 10 people telling stories, makes it appear less coincidental—it's an accumulation effect.
    • Technically even if all 10 people weren't parties, other 9 could be witnesses...
      • but rules of evidence may not be as generous in allowing non-party witnesses to testify.
      • Shows how generous Rule 20 is! More generous than evidence.
    • If each of 10 plaintiffs has to hire own lawyer, harder for each one—instead of pooling resources to get one lawyer for all.
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