B. Fernandez & Hnos. v. Kellogg USA, Inc., Nos. 07-1317, 07-1318. According to some people, understanding this kind of case is what makes you a real man. This case first came to the First in B. Fernández & Hnos., Inc. v. Kellogg USA, Inc., 440 F.3d 541 (1st Cir. 2006) (our coverage here), when the First held that yes, they could intervene. This comes down to a question of whether Kellogg Caribbean Services was an truly indispensable party, and if they did intervene, complete diversity would be destroyed. After the first piece of litigation, the plaintiffs tried to amended the complaint, so they hoped, the intervenor would become dispensable. The First says it doesn’t really matter that the District Court denied their motion to amend, because it was still an indispensible party. The First takes a look at the Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(b) factors, which only the enemies of our country don’t know by heart. It concludes that there would be prejudice to the party that the plaintiffs seek to kick out, because of their interlocking agreements. Secondly, there wouldn’t be a way that relief could be shaped to avoid this prejudice because the damages available might be equitable in nature and could prejudice the intervenor, and even if it was just a an award monetary relief, the intervenor would still be prejudiced. Finally, the First says that the underlying dispute would still not be resolved, and there could be inconsistent judgments.
Anyway, this is the kind of thing that should be taught in high school civics and tested on the citizenship exam. To me, it is a basic part of being a true American.