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Table of Contents Cover Featured Article

MCLE Test and Answer Sheet


Test No.77:The Untouchabes  (October 1999 LA Lawyer)

Instructions for Obtaining MCLE Credits
The Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour.


1.Study the CLE article in this issue.


2.Answer the test questions by marking the appropriate boxes. Each question has only one answer. Photocopies of this answer sheet may be submitted; however, this form should not be enlarged or reduced.

3.Mail the answer sheet and the $15 testing fee ($20 for non-LACBA members) to:
Los Angeles Lawyer
MCLE Test
P.O. Box 55020
Los Angeles, CA 90055 
Make checks payable to Los Angeles Lawyer.

4.You can also fill in the test form and submit it directly to LACBA by clicking "Submit." To submit your test answers online you will need to pay by credit card. After submitting your answers you will be presented with a screen requesting payment information. This information will be submitted in a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet. If you prefer not to pay by credit card, please print this answer sheet and submit your responses by regular mail.

5.Within six weeks, Los Angeles Lawyer will return your test with the correct answers, a rationale for the correct answers, and a certificate verifying the CLE credit you earned through this self-assessment activity.

6.For future reference, please retain the CLE test materials returned to you.
Test Sheet 
Mark your answers to the test by clicking next to your choice.  All questions must be answered.  Each question has only one answer. This test is worth 1 hour of credit.*

1. The distinction between a "foreign state, narrowly defined," and an "agency and instrumentality of a foreign state" (in other words, a "foreign governmental instrumentality") is important because:
A. A foreign state, narrowly defined, will receive broader jurisdictional immunity from noncommercial tort claims.
B. A foreign state, narrowly defined, will receive broader jurisdictional immunity from tort claims based on commercial activity.
C. A foreign state, narrowly defined, will receive broader immunity from prejudgment attachment.
D. None of the above.

2. A plaintiff suing a foreign governmental instrumentality in state court can demand a jury trial.
True.
False.

3. A foreign sovereign can be sued in tort based on:
A. The noncommercial tort exception.
B. The commercial activity exception.
C. The waiver exception.
D. All of the above.

4. A foreign governmental instrumentality defending a civil action in federal court:
A. Has the right to a bench trial.
B. Enjoys immunity from punitive damages.
C. Enjoys immunity from pretrial discovery concerning jurisdictional facts.
D. All of the above.

5. The correct characterization of a foreign sovereign as either a foreign state, narrowly defined, or a foreign governmental instrumentality is important because:
A. There are different FSIA provisions for service of process for each characterization.
B. The scope of liability is different for each characterization.
C. A foreign state, narrowly defined, has broader immunity from execution of judgments.
D. All of the above.

6. The distinction between torts falling within the noncommercial tort exception and torts falling within the commercial activity exception is important because:
A. A tort cannot be characterized as both a noncommercial tort and a tort based on commercial activity.
B. A claim against a foreign sovereign for interference with contract rights can only be predicated on a commercial activity-based tort, not on a noncommercial tort.
C. Unlike commercial activity-based torts, all the elements of a noncommercial tort must take place in the United States.
D. All of the above.

7. A foreign state, narrowly defined, defending a civil action always has the right to a bench trial.
True.
False.

8. For a U.S. court to have jurisdiction of a claim against a foreign sovereign predicated on a noncommercial tort, the plaintiff's injury must have been sustained in the United States.
True.
False.

9. For a U.S. court to have jurisdiction over a claim against a foreign sovereign predicated on a commercial activity-based tort:
A. The injury resulting from the tort must be sustained in the United States.
B. The commercial act or activity on which the claim is based must occur in the United States.
C. The claim cannot be based on fraud or deceit.
D. None of the above.

10. It is procedurally easier under the FSIA to obtain a default judgment against a foreign governmental instrumentality than against a foreign state, narrowly defined.
True.
False.

11. Under a U.S. judgment for damages against a foreign state, narrowly defined, for injuries sustained in a traffic accident involving an official embassy vehicle, the judgment creditor can levy on the embassy's U.S. bank account, which the embassy uses to pay for services and supplies.
True.
False.

Hypothetical
The Ruritanian Rhubarb Marketing Board (RRMB) is a Ruritania corporation wholly owned by the Ruritanian government. The RRMB is opening its first overseas branch office in Mexico, with a transferred RRMB employee, H. Humbert, assigned as manager.

12. During a stopover in Los Angeles, Humbert provokes an argument with a rental car clerk and uses offensive words to disparage the clerk's gender, ethnicity, intelligence, and appearance. Humbert also accidentally bumps into the clerk so that she falls and injures herself. She sues Humbert and the RRMB for personal injuries, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and violation of various civil rights. In response to RRMB's foreign sovereign immunity claims, the court should:
A. Accept the RRMB's argument that the clerk's claims fall outside the commercial activity exception.
B. Reject the RRMB's argument that the clerk's claims fall outside the noncommercial tort exception.
C. Accept the RRMB's argument that the defamation claim falls within an exception from the commercial activity exception.
D. None of the above.

13. Humbert arrives in Mexico and hires Charlotte, an expatriate U.S. citizen, to be his secretary. He later fires Charlotte and hires her daughter, Dolores, as a replacement. Charlotte returns to the United States and sues RRMB for age discrimination, unlawful termination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Which of Charlotte's arguments should the court reject?
A. Her claim falls within the noncommercial tort exception.
B. Her claim falls within the commercial activity exception.
C. The RRMB is not a foreign sovereign entitled to immunity.
D. All of the above.

14. The RRMB sells a shipment of canned rhubarb to a Mexican buyer who, unbeknown to the RRMB, resells it to a U.S. buyer, a school district. The rhubarb turns out to be contaminated and causes several students to become ill. The victims sue the RRMB in the United States, and the RRMB invokes foreign sovereign immunity. The court should:
A. Reject the RRMB's contention that the claims fall outside the noncommercial tort exception.
B. Accept the RRMB's contention that the claims fall outside the commercial activity exception because the RRMB did not engage in commercial activity in the United States.
C. Reject the RRMB's contention that the claims fall outside the commercial activity exception because the RRMB's conduct did not have a direct effect in the United States.
D. None of the above.

15. In response to Humbert's unwanted attention during a business trip to South America, Dolores returns to the United States, where she sues the RRMB for sexual harassment. The RRMB invokes immunity. The court should:
A. Accept Dolores's contention that her claim falls within the noncommercial tort exception.
B. Accept Dolores's contention that her claim falls within the second clause of the commercial activity exception.
C. Reject Dolores's contention that her claim falls within the third clause of the commercial activity exception.
D. None of the above.

16. The RRMB opens an office in the United States and assigns Humbert as the office manager. Humbert excoriates employee Quilty in a fit of jealousy over the attentions of a secretary. Quilty resigns and sues the RRMB and Humbert for slander, humiliation, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Quilty also sues the RRMB for inadequate supervision of Humbert. The court should:
A. Accept the RRMB's contention that Quilty's defamation claim falls outside the noncommercial tort exception.
B. Accept Quilty's contention that his defamation claim falls within the commercial activity exception.
C. Reject the RRMB's contention that Quilty's inadequate supervision claim falls within the noncommercial tort exception.
D. Accept the RRMB's contention that Quilty's inadequate supervision claim falls outside the commercial activity exception.

17. The Ruritanian Department of Commerce and Industry (RDOCI) sends an employee to the United States to investigate the allegations against Humbert. During an interview at the RRMB's offices, the RDOCI employee serves Quilty a cup of extremely hot coffee from the office coffee machine. Quilty spills the coffee on himself and sues the RRMB and the RDOCI for personal injury. Both defendants invoke sovereign immunity. The court should:
A. Accept Quilty's contention that his claim against the RRMB falls within the noncommercial tort exception.
B. Accept Quilty's contention that his claim against the RRMB falls within the commercial activity exception.
C. Reject Quilty's contention that his claim against the RDOCI falls within the noncommercial tort exception.
D. Accept Quilty's contention that his claim against the RDOCI falls within the commercial activity exception.

18. The RDOCI defaults, and Quilty wins a judgment against the RRMB and the RDOCI for compensatory and punitive damages. He tries to execute on the judgment against the Ruritanian Embassy's U.S. bank account and the RRMB's U.S. bank account. Both the RRMB and the RDOCI file objections. The court should:
A. Sustain the RDOCI's objections to execution based on the punitive damages award.
B. Sustain the RDOCI's objections to execution against the embassy's bank account.
C. Reject the RRMB's objections to execution against its bank account.
D. All of the above.

19. The RRMB forms Rhubarb North America, Inc. (RNA), a new, wholly owned Ruritania corporation, to conduct the RRMB's business in the United States and Canada. Humbert is appointed president and CEO of RNA. Quilty has started a competing rhubarb import business in Canada. Humbert travels to Canada and, by fair means and foul, entices a number of customers away from Quilty. Quilty sues the RNA and the RRMB in federal district court in California for interference with contractual relationships. The court should:
A. Reject the RNA's contention that it has immunity because the claim falls outside the noncommercial tort exception.
B. Reject the RNA's contention that it has immunity because the claim falls outside the commercial activity exception.
C. Accept the RNA's contention that it has immunity because of the nature of Quilty's claim.
D. None of the above.

20. The RNA finally fires Humbert and hires a young woman to replace him. Humbert relocates to Chicago. Humbert sues the RNA in federal district court in Chicago for wrongful termination, age discrimination, and gender discrimination. The RNA does not have immunity from Humbert's claims.
True.
False.


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*The Los Angeles County Bar Association has been approved as a continuing legal education provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by The State Bar of California. This self-assessment activity will qualify for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by The State Bar of California in the amount of one hour.

   
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