- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
- Date Filed: 04-29-2020
- Case #: A158705
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & James, J., concurring in part, dissenting in part.
- Full Text Opinion
Kim, one of three directors sued by Deep Phonotics shareholders, appealed a ruling that directors had twice breached their duty of care. Among other claims, Kim contended that the trial court erred in permitting the claims to be heard by a jury, arguing that, because of its equitable nature, a shareholder derivative suit must be heard by a court. Deep Photonics’ replied that, under Oregon law, the type of relief sought determines whether a litigant has a right to a jury trial and argued that because the right to a jury trial is a procedural issue, the law of the forum state controls. Under Foster v. Miramontes, 352 Or 401, 425 (2012), “[T]he right to jury trial must depend on the nature of the relief requested and not on whether, historically, a court of equity would have granted the relief had the legal issuer been joined with a separate equitable claim.” The Court held that Deep Phonotics was entitled to a jury trial because the corporation’s legal claim is easily separated from the equitable issue regarding the standing of corporate shareholders. In determining whether Delaware or Oregon governs, the Court used the decision in Equitable Life Assurance v. McKay, 306 Or 493, 497 (1988). McKay held that “matters concerned primarily with judicial administration are governed by the law of the forum state.” Here, the Court held that because the mode of trial fundamentally deals with an issue of judicial administration, Oregon law is determinate. Affirmed.