Difficult Erie Hypo

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phonepro
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Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby phonepro » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:42 am

Would anyone like to comment on how you would approach this erie hypo?
Last edited by phonepro on Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sogui
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby Sogui » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:38 am

Yea I'd say:

Simple, see: Walker, Gasperini, Shady Grove

There is no direct clash between the FRCP and the statutes in New York. New York has many policy reasons for this statute and allowing Federal customs in procedure to trump NY substantive law (controlling damage award is seen as being "more" than procedure) would fly in the face of the twin aims of Erie.

phonepro
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby phonepro » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:41 am

Thanks, the problem is my professor didn't assign any of those cases.

That was my main question. How do you decide if there is a direct clash? Rule 8 does allow for a P to include punitive damages in their initial pleading. I didn't think it was a direct clash because i figured it needs to be more specific/exactly on point. Also, b/c that would've main the question too simple (wouldn't have to discus twin aims of erie, etc).

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onthecusp
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby onthecusp » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:09 am

phonepro wrote:Thanks, the problem is my professor didn't assign any of those cases.

That was my main question. How do you decide if there is a direct clash? Rule 8 does allow for a P to include punitive damages in their initial pleading. I didn't think it was a direct clash because i figured it needs to be more specific/exactly on point. Also, b/c that would've main the question too simple (wouldn't have to discus twin aims of erie, etc).


If the state is trying to prevent punitive damages, the twin aims of Erie attempting to prevent forum shopping, wouldn't a statute like the one in the hypo preventing punitives make you try whatever you can to get the case into Federal Court? The statue was written as a measure of "tort reform" presumptively to prevent frivolous tort claims and excessive awards stemming from those claims. It would stand to reason that something like that would be viewed as substantive law in the courts, and using Erie, you couldn't ignore it.

I don't see where the conflict is, and even if the statute does conflict with the rules mentioned, at best, it's a restriction of those rules; not an outright contradiction.

phonepro
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby phonepro » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:19 am

onthecusp wrote:
phonepro wrote:Thanks, the problem is my professor didn't assign any of those cases.

That was my main question. How do you decide if there is a direct clash? Rule 8 does allow for a P to include punitive damages in their initial pleading. I didn't think it was a direct clash because i figured it needs to be more specific/exactly on point. Also, b/c that would've main the question too simple (wouldn't have to discus twin aims of erie, etc).


If the state is trying to prevent punitive damages, the twin aims of Erie attempting to prevent forum shopping, wouldn't a statute like the one in the hypo preventing punitives make you try whatever you can to get the case into Federal Court? The statue was written as a measure of "tort reform" presumptively to prevent frivolous tort claims and excessive awards stemming from those claims. It would stand to reason that something like that would be viewed as substantive law in the courts, and using Erie, you couldn't ignore it.

I don't see where the conflict is, and even if the statute does conflict with the rules mentioned, at best, it's a restriction of those rules; not an outright contradiction.


I agree and that is how I answered the question as well. However, it obviously mentions those rules so that you discuss them and whether or not there is a direct conflict. That part of my answer is lacking. I am not sure how to analyze whether a rule is in direct conflict with a state statute. Are there set guidelines? Does it have to be in direct contradiction. I'm assuming that for there to be a direct conflict with this state statute, there would have to be a specific rule regarding medical malpractice cases and punitive damages?

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onthecusp
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby onthecusp » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:25 am

phonepro wrote:
onthecusp wrote:
phonepro wrote:Thanks, the problem is my professor didn't assign any of those cases.

That was my main question. How do you decide if there is a direct clash? Rule 8 does allow for a P to include punitive damages in their initial pleading. I didn't think it was a direct clash because i figured it needs to be more specific/exactly on point. Also, b/c that would've main the question too simple (wouldn't have to discus twin aims of erie, etc).


If the state is trying to prevent punitive damages, the twin aims of Erie attempting to prevent forum shopping, wouldn't a statute like the one in the hypo preventing punitives make you try whatever you can to get the case into Federal Court? The statue was written as a measure of "tort reform" presumptively to prevent frivolous tort claims and excessive awards stemming from those claims. It would stand to reason that something like that would be viewed as substantive law in the courts, and using Erie, you couldn't ignore it.

I don't see where the conflict is, and even if the statute does conflict with the rules mentioned, at best, it's a restriction of those rules; not an outright contradiction.


I agree and that is how I answered the question as well. However, it obviously mentions those rules so that you discuss them and whether or not there is a direct conflict. That part of my answer is lacking. I am not sure how to analyze whether a rule is in direct conflict with a state statute. Are there set guidelines? Does it have to be in direct contradiction. I'm assuming that for there to be a direct conflict with this state statute, there would have to be a specific rule regarding medical malpractice cases and punitive damages?


Maybe, but unless the conflict was obvious perhaps it was a red herring. If I were taking the exam I would have spent a couple paragraphs talking about how it does or does not conflict with those rules and ultimately concluded that it was substantive law and should be followed.

phonepro
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby phonepro » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:22 am

onthecusp wrote:
phonepro wrote:
onthecusp wrote:
phonepro wrote:Thanks, the problem is my professor didn't assign any of those cases.

That was my main question. How do you decide if there is a direct clash? Rule 8 does allow for a P to include punitive damages in their initial pleading. I didn't think it was a direct clash because i figured it needs to be more specific/exactly on point. Also, b/c that would've main the question too simple (wouldn't have to discus twin aims of erie, etc).


If the state is trying to prevent punitive damages, the twin aims of Erie attempting to prevent forum shopping, wouldn't a statute like the one in the hypo preventing punitives make you try whatever you can to get the case into Federal Court? The statue was written as a measure of "tort reform" presumptively to prevent frivolous tort claims and excessive awards stemming from those claims. It would stand to reason that something like that would be viewed as substantive law in the courts, and using Erie, you couldn't ignore it.

I don't see where the conflict is, and even if the statute does conflict with the rules mentioned, at best, it's a restriction of those rules; not an outright contradiction.


I agree and that is how I answered the question as well. However, it obviously mentions those rules so that you discuss them and whether or not there is a direct conflict. That part of my answer is lacking. I am not sure how to analyze whether a rule is in direct conflict with a state statute. Are there set guidelines? Does it have to be in direct contradiction. I'm assuming that for there to be a direct conflict with this state statute, there would have to be a specific rule regarding medical malpractice cases and punitive damages?


Maybe, but unless the conflict was obvious perhaps it was a red herring. If I were taking the exam I would have spent a couple paragraphs talking about how it does or does not conflict with those rules and ultimately concluded that it was substantive law and should be followed.


Great, that's exactly what I did. Thanks, Richard Freer.

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Sogui
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Re: Difficult Erie Hypo

Postby Sogui » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:25 am

I'm still surprised that the vast majority of Civ Pro professors don't assign the new cases, I mean it really gives a sharper idea of how far the courts are willing to push the Federal rules.

On the other hand the plurality in Shady Grove really splits how we are supposed to ultimately apply the "clash" rule, so it might just be confusing to teach it.




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