TTH wrote:To what extent am I missing the boat on the Erie Doctrine? I know this is supposed to be a really hard case/concept, but it seems like it boils down pretty simply.
If a Federal Court is hearing a state law claim under diversity jurisdiction, then they apply the substantive state law of the state in which they're sitting, be it statutory or common law, amirite? Does all of Brandeis' policy arguments, statutory interpretation of the RDA, etc matter for the purposes of taking a civ pro exam?
edit: I'm guessing it's the stuff that comes after Erie v. Tomkins that causes the headaches. Otherwise, I'm a fool. Either way, nvm.
Your interpretation depends on the twin aims of Erie: Is the abolition of Federal Common-Law mainly to deter forum-shopping amongst interested parties, or is it to promote federalism?
Either way, stay tuned to the cases that you'll be discussing soon for more details on how the court has royally fucked up any consistent interpretation of Erie. York says something that makes little to no sense, then Hanna and Ricoh further policy that sort of misses the point, and last year Shady Grove attempted to finally clear up the law... except it was a 4-4-1 split, and we still don't know what the law is because the 5 judges with the same framework couldn't agree on how to apply it to a fact pattern.
Take away: Erie is a mess. Just make sure you understand the possible policy implications of the original decision, and how to apply the various tests that the court has given us to consider over the years.