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Diversity Jurisdiction

This lesson is designed to help students understand the basic principles of diversity and alienage jurisdiction in the federal district courts. It examines both the constitutional authority for diversity and alienage jurisdiction, U.S. Const. Art. III, § 2, and the statutory provisions that bestow diversity and alienage jurisdiction on the federal district courts, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1)-(a)(3). It consists of both text and explanatory problems.

This lesson does not assume any specific knowledge of diversity or alienage jurisdiction and it is not tied to the organization of any particular civil procedure text. It is designed to teach the basics of diversity and alienage jurisdiction from scratch. It can be used as a supplement to assigned class readings or as a review of the material before exams. All of the constitutional and statutory provisions that are needed are available as part of the lesson.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain how to determine the citizenship of natural persons, corporations, unincorporated entities and representatives.
  2. Explain the complete diversity requirement.
  3. Explain the test for ascertaining whether the amount in controversy requirement is satisfied.
  4. Explain the basic aggregation rules.
  5. Understand alienage jurisdiction.
  6. Understand hybrid diversity and alienage jurisdiction.
  7. Explain the difference between the constitutional and statutory grants of diversity jurisdiction.
  8. Apply the diversity and alienage jurisdiction rules and test to new fact patterns.
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