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Pilea, HLS '24 |

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Slaughter-House Cases

83 U.S. 36 (1872)

tl;dr: Privileges/immunities clause of the Constitution simply informs state governments they must apply their laws equally to all US citizens who come within their jurisdiction.

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Dora Surowitz, a stockholder in Hilton Hotels Corporation, filed a lawsuit against the officers and directors of the corporation for defrauding it of several million dollars through illegal devices and schemes. The District Court dismissed the case with prejudice, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal, citing false verification of the complaint under Rule 23 (b) and Rule 41 (b). However, the Supreme Court reversed the judgments, stating that the Rule cannot justify dismissal of the case on the record shown. The District Court and Court of Appeals erred by not considering additional evidence in the form of two affidavits submitted by Dora Surowitz's attorney and son-in-law when they dismissed the case. Surowitz, a Polish immigrant and seamstress, sought advice from her son-in-law, Irving Brilliant, who was a Harvard Law School graduate and professional investment advisor. He investigated the matter and prepared a complaint charging the defendants with fraud and multiple violations of federal securities acts and state law.

Mrs. Surowitz filed a complaint alleging fraudulent scheme by Hilton Hotels Corporation, but did not understand the legal relationships or business transactions described in the complaint. The lower courts erred by dismissing the case based on her lack of knowledge. The Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the case, as substantial and diligent investigation had been conducted by her counselors. Rule 23 and other Federal Rules cannot be used to summarily dismiss cases involving grave charges of fraud without allowing for argument and investigation. The case is reversed and remanded to the District Court for trial on the merits. Justice Harlan concurs with the decision.

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IRACIssue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

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Facts & Holding

Facts:Louisiana law chartered a corporation – the Crescent City Livestock Landing...

Holding:Historical context must be taken into consideration here. The 13th amendment...

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