Two potential lawsuits regarding the development of the infrastructure to the subdivision may be present. An infrastructure includes power, utility, cable, gas lines, and sewer pipes. The impending lawsuits imply the construction of the infrastructure will block access to a current utility easement therefore, denying the use of the easement by the city or the adjacent property owner. The city has warned said client of a lawsuit for fraud against a municipality in addition to closing down the new project and business altogether. The adjacent property owner is also threatening to sue for damages to property as well as trespassing. Alternative Dispute Resolution
The first action that should be considered with lawsuits that can result in long drawn out court cases and end up costing all parties involved large sums of money such as the client’s case is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). An ADR is an option other than litigation that can assist in settling a disagreement outside of the court system that includes: arbitration, mediation, conciliation, mini trials, fact-finding, and judicial referees (Cheeseman, 2007, p. 45). ADRs can be appealed if the plaintiff or defendant determines that an error was made during the Alternative Dispute Resolution. Should an ADR not suffice for this particular case, the courts that can review and resolve the lawsuits against the client may be heard in different court systems due to the differences in the plaintiffs. Courts for the City’s Case
If the city’s dispute goes to trial, the case would be heard in the state court system. Depending on the dollar amount, the court that would hear the case would either be a limited jurisdiction trial court for smaller amounts of money, or the general jurisdiction trial court if the dollar amount were a large sum of money (Cheeseman, 2007, p. 18). Since this is a civil case involving an easement for a city utility line, the dollar amount is likely going to be a large sum of money and would go to trial in a general jurisdiction trial court. If either of the parties find the ruling of the general jurisdiction trial court to be in error or a correction of the previous court’s verdict is necessary, the verdict can be appealed. An appeal is taken to an intermediate appellate court where only the evidence and testimony from the previous court is heard (Cheeseman, 2007). An appeal can then be made on the intermediate appellate court’s judgment to the highest state court also known as the State Supreme Court, and finally if that decision is found inadequate the highest court that can hear a case is the Supreme Court (Cheeseman, 2007). Courts for the Adjacent Landowner’s Case
If the adjacent landowner sues for damages to property and trespassing, the fact that the landowner is a citizen of Switzerland can be a case for the federal courts to hear. Proceedings involving a citizen of a state, and a citizen of a foreign country are a type of jurisdiction called diversity of citizenship that involves the federal courts (Cheeseman, 2007, p. 24). The federal court system begins with the U.S. district courts where the judge, and sometimes jury, will hear the opening statements made by the attorneys, then the plaintiff’s case, followed by the defendant’s case, the rebuttal, the closing arguments, and finally the entry of judgment. If one of the parties disagrees with the judgment the next court in the federal court system is the U.S. court of appeals and if that judgment is in need of an appeal the final court is again the United States Supreme Court (Cheeseman, 2007). The case could also be tried in a state court system; which depends on whether the landowner brings the case to the federal courts or the state court system. Concurrent jurisdiction refers to a jurisdiction that allows for a trial to be heard in more than one court (Cheesman, 2007). If the plaintiff does bring...