Farmer v. Arabian American Oil Company

PETITIONER: Farmer
RESPONDENT: Arabian American Oil Company
LOCATION: United States Post Office and Courthouse

DOCKET NO.: 32
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

CITATION: 379 US 227 (1964)
ARGUED: Nov 09, 1964 / Nov 10, 1964
DECIDED: Dec 14, 1964

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Farmer v. Arabian American Oil Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 09, 1964 in Farmer v. Arabian American Oil Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 10, 1964 in Farmer v. Arabian American Oil Company

Earl Warren:

Number 32, Howard Farmer, Petitioner, versus Arabian-American Oil Company, and Number 33, Arabian-American Oil Company versus Howard Farmer.

Mr. Nulman you may continue you argument.

Kalman I. Nulman:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

First may I say, I'm afraid that I didn't fully get the import of the question that Mr. Justice Goldberg asked me yesterday nor that did I as fully answered the question of Mr. Justice Harlan as I should have liked.

And I hope that I may be permitted in the course of my argument to return to both of these matters.

At the conclusion of yesterday's session, I had come to the point where following a dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint after first jury trial and a reversal and remand by the Court of Appeals, there had been an application made to require the plaintiff to furnish a bond for security of costs which was granted.

And a bond of $10,000 required first modified to $6000 and that was followed by dismissal of plaintiff's complaint for failure to furnish the bond which resulted in a second appeal to the Court of Appeals.

That court reversed holding that the requirement for the furnishing of the bond had the effect of depriving the plaintiff of his day in court.

And in the course of its opinion the court volunteered to grant a pointed observations concerning what it described as the expansive way of trying the case which had been followed by the defendant.

And it referred particularly to the bringing of witnesses from Saudi Arabia.

And Judge Clark, the late Judge Clark, speaking for the unanimous court indicated very plainly that the -- that in the circumstances of this case having in mind the various factors such as the amount involved and the condition of the parties, the plaintiff, that resort could have been had and should have been had to the deposition procedures prescribed by the rules.

Thereafter, a second trial was had before Judge Weinfeld, the jury in the course of its long deliberations returned and reported it was unable to agree and after some additional instructions from the court returned, deliberated further, and returned a verdict for the defendant.

Earl Warren:

How much was the first bond required?

Kalman I. Nulman:

The first was $10,000 and the -- we applied for reargument and the District Judge reduced it to $6000 and we had made proof which the Court of Appeals considered sufficient that we were unable to furnish either such bond.

Earl Warren:

I see.

Kalman I. Nulman:

Following the second dismissal, the defendant tax costs at the clerk -- with the clerk and these costs in the first instance amounted to $11,900.

We applied for review and in due course, the second trial judge after deliberation lasting nine months rendered an opinion and decision wherein he reduced the -- by -- the costs to the sum of some $800.

And in the course of this opinion, Judge Weinfeld made reference first to the Court of Appeals' decision and its scriptures on the methods of trying the case followed by the defendant, made his own observation as to the free and easy method adopted by the defendant and that's the language of the judge.

And as an instance of the free and easy method followed by the defendant, he gave the illustration of an argument of a motion for summary judgment about a year prior to the first trial.

The defendant had, without any request of the court or any indication by the court that it desired a transcript of the minutes, had ordered the minutes of that hearing and attached the cost of those minutes against the plaintiff at the first trial.

I might say that the costs of the first trial were taxed and reviewed while our appeal was before the Court of Appeals and we had already served and filed our brief.

The first trial judge declined to stay the taxation but the Court of Appeals, on our application, did so.

Now Judge Weinfeld --

-- of the record?

Kalman I. Nulman:

I beg your pardon?

Page of the record.

Kalman I. Nulman:

It was two volumes of several thousands of pages, and fortunately for us the defendant had ordered those minutes and had filed them in the office of the clerk.

That is, the stenographer had filed his copy in the office of the clerk and we made extracts from that record and the actual printed record of the appeal amounted to some 60 pages and was this size.

That is to say without the appendix, it was 50 pages and there were an additional 74 printed pages for our principal brief and half again as much for our reply brief, and that was the extent of the printed record.

As for the actual court record, the -- it was extremely voluminous and the volume ran to, I think and I hope I'm not in error, 1200 to 1300 pages, that was the first trial.