The Erie doctrine is a fundamental legal doctrine in civil procedure. It mandates that a federal court must apply state substantive law in diversity jurisdiction cases. The reign of Swift was terminated by the Supreme Court's decision in Erie R.R. Personal Jurisdiction. I. Overview a. Definition – geographical limitation on where a P may sue a D to litigate a claim. This is a right or defense and is waivable. b. Legal Definition of Erie doctrine.: a doctrine that a federal court exercising diversity jurisdiction over a case for which no federal law is relevant must apply the law of the state in which it is sitting. — called also Erie Rule. — see also Erie Railroad Co.


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In such cases, state law controls where it serves substantive interests at least in part. Erie doctrine does not apply if a federal rule that addresses the issue at hand exists.

In erie doctrine cases, the federal procedural rule controls. When the issue is not sufficiently resolved by the substance-versus-procedure and modified outcome-determination tests, the policies underlying erie doctrine the federal law and state law are examined.

Erie Doctrine – Civil Procedure

So what if the Texas Supreme Court has decided this issue? Erie doctrine it has erie doctrine has done so recently and clearly, then the federal court will likely apply the tort law as articulated by the Texas Supreme Court.


But what if the Texas Supreme Court has not spoken on the issue? Ok, but what if the Texas Supreme Court has spoken on the issue, but that was a really long erie doctrine ago?

The Ohio federal court erie doctrine research Texastort law and determine whether the Texas Supreme Court has spoken on the relevant issue.

P from Florida gets into an accident in Texas with D from Ohio.

Erie doctrine

Here the diversity case would have to use state common law. In essence, the intent of that decision was to ensure that, in all cases where a federal court is exercising jurisdiction solely because of the diversity of citizenship of the erie doctrine, the outcome of the litigation in the federal court should be substantially the same, so far as legal rules determine the outcome of a litigation, as it would be if tried in a Erie doctrine court This suggests that Erie's main goal was to achieve equal protection under the law.

One way that equal protection is intentionally disregarded would be through " forum shopping ," but the reduction of inequality was the main target of the doctrine.

Hanna[ edit ] Under the approach in Hanna v. Plumerthe federal court of a state hearing a case based on diversity jurisdiction should apply erie doctrine law in the event of conflict between erie doctrine and federal law if the state law deals with substantive rights of state citizens.

The Supreme Court has defined substantive rights as, "rights conferred by the law to be protected and enforced by the adjective law of judicial procedure. If the state law is merely procedural, or relating merely to the form and mode of judicial operations, then the federal court does not have to apply the conflicting state law.

However, the substance-procedure distinction is a generality as the Court erie doctrine any test based upon "litmus paper criterion.

The Court announced a modification of the "outcome-determinative" test in York, whereby the test must be applied in light of the twin aims of Erie, which are the discouragement of forum-shopping and avoidance of inequitable administration of the laws.

Under this rule, state procedural law would not supplant federal procedural law if the differences in the outcome erie doctrine nonsubstantial or trivial, fail to raise Equal Protection concerns, and are unlikely to influence erie doctrine choice of forum.

Center for HumanitiesU.

Gasperini is a post-Hanna decision addressing a conflict between state and federal law for review of jury verdicts. Therefore, the federal court would implement the federal erie doctrine in its ruling and Danny would prevail in the case.

Erie Doctrine and Choice of Law – History of the Erie Doctrine

Assume the same facts as above, except that there is no federal statute that governs the circumstances of this case. However, the state statute limiting the liability for oil spills to negligence cases does exist on point.

Nevertheless, the federal court realizes that, although there is no federal statute on point, federal cases i. The court thus questions whether to apply the Louisiana statute or the federal common law. Here, the RDA steps in and dictates that the state law must apply because the state law exists on point erie doctrine there is no federal statute that contradicts it.

The controversy over the RDA that led to Erie was what happens when there is erie doctrine federal OR state statutory law on point. In such a case, should the court apply federal common law or should the court apply state common law since there is no statutory law to determine the outcome of this case?