Sunday, November 24, 2013

Phillips Petroleum v. Shutts case brief

Phillips Petroleum v. Shutts case brief summary
472 U.S. 797 (1985)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner appealed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Kansas which affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of respondents in their class action suit that sought interest on overdue royalty payments from gas leases in various states.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner purchased and produced gas from leased land located in 11 states, and sold most of the gas in interstate commerce. Respondents, royalty owners possessing rights to the gas leases, filed a class action suit against petitioner seeking to recover interest on royalty payments that were delayed by petitioner. Respondents resided in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign countries. Respondents recovered over petitioners' objections that Kansas was prohibited from adjudicating the claims of all respondents and from applying Kansas law to all the transactions. The state appeals court affirmed the ruling.

DISCUSSION
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the court's jurisdiction over the claims because the parties were given the opportunity to opt out, but reversed its application of Kansas law to all the transactions because Kansas did not have significant contact with each of the class members.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the portion of the judgment that upheld the jurisdiction of Kansas courts over the class but reversed the judgment insofar as it held that Kansas law was applicable to all the transactions because Kansas did not have significant contact with each of the class members.

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