Finance, Investment & Rediscount Co. v. Wells

In Finance, Investment & Rediscount Co. v. Wells, 409 So. 2d 1341, 1343 (Ala. 1982) decided in the context of a shareholder's derivative action, this Court revisited the question of when parties have a right to a jury trial. In that case, minority shareholders alleged mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of corporate funds, and diversion of corporate opportunities. 409 So. 2d at 1342. The Court decided that those claims had been properly tried without a jury, because a shareholder's derivative action is equitable in nature; but this Court stated that the plaintiff's promissory-note claim had been properly tried before a jury, "because it was a purely legal claim asserted by the plaintiffs in their individual capacity and was not an issue raised derivatively on behalf of the corporation." Id. at 1343.