Shady Grove - Scalia and Ginsburg Analyses

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Shady Grove - Scalia and Ginsburg Analyses

Postby jjlaw » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:26 pm

Can someone explain to me how and when you would use the Scalia and Ginsburg analysis in Erie? I know that Scalia does a broad reading and Ginsburg does a narrow reading, but what is their reasoning? And how would you analogize this case in a fact pattern? For example, what kind of conflicting laws would need to appear on the exam to draw analysis from Shady Grove?


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Re: Shady Grove - Scalia and Ginsburg Analyses

Postby PhoenicianMonk » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:18 pm

I'm just going to copy and paste what I had in my CivPro outline from last year regarding Shady Grove. Did pretty well, and I hope this helps... I remember being confused as allgetout with this case.

Use Shady Grove when: only if it is found that the Federal and State rules are not in conflict, which really haven't seen in most of these cases (most other cases assumed conflict, and you just went into substantive/procedural analysis).
Useful to: determine whether state and federal rules conflict based on the subjective intent of state legislatures leads to confusion, inconsistent results, and excessive work for federal judges. Intent cannot override clear statutory language.

Steps to follow:
1) is there a Federal Rule on point that addresses the question? (I think the Hanna case starts you out with this step)
2) If yes, then ask whether that Federal Rule is valid under the Rules Enabling Act. REA allows fedcourts to make rules that shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right.
- Valid If it governs only the manner and the means by which a litigant's rights are enforced.
- Invalid if it alters the rules of decision by which the court will adjudicate those rights.

Scalia: No need to consider REA analysis of whether the state law created a substantive right. Don’t want a patchwork of federal rules. FRCP controls when a state class action suit is filed in federal court. State law cannot limit right to sue in federal court. His opinion mostly in line with Sibbach.
Ginsberg: sticks with the traditional analysis of Outcome Determinative / Substantive vs. Procedural. Erie is a cornerstone of jurisprudence. We should continue to give respect to state law and balance interests of state/federal.
Stevens: wonders if Rule 23 is a valid use of law-making authority. Congress wanted us to be very sensitive to state law. If the FRCP abridges any of that, then it’s bad. If there is a state substantive right, then we have to defer to that. If we can’t accommodate it, then we shouldn't apply the FRCP. Another goal of FRCP is to balance the state’s rights, and we can’t do that without peeking into 901(b) to figure out if the state is creating substantive rights.

Fitting in with Erie:
Do not go into Erie analysis unless federal rule is inapplicable or invalid, which the court basically never ever finds to be the case. Why? Supreme Court delegates the FRCP creation, and does not want to find one of their own rules invalid

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Re: Shady Grove - Scalia and Ginsburg Analyses

Postby jjlaw » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:54 pm

Thanks! That was super helpful.

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Re: Shady Grove - Scalia and Ginsburg Analyses

Postby bk1 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:08 pm

Basically the way my prof taught it was that Shady Grove/Gasperini were about broadening and narrowing the federal rule.

So if you have a federal rule on point you're in a Gasperini (Ginsburg) area. Basically the point is to look whether you can narrow the federal rule to make it so that they do not conflict. The argument then is that since you are reading the fed rule in such a way as there is no conflict, you are now able to apply the state rule since you don't have the REA telling you to apply the fed rule. My prof then wanted us to analyze what happens in this situation by putting it through Byrd/Hanna/York tests to see if it would be a good idea to narrow the fed rule and allow the state rule to control.

If you don't have a federal rule that is on point then you're in a Shady Grove (Scalia) area. Here the point is that even though they might not conflict at first, if you can expand the fed rule by reading it broadly enough, you can create a conflict between the fed rule and the state rule. You then end up in a world where Hanna applies and you have an REA analysis of the presumptive validity of the fed rule. This then allows you to apply the fed rule over the state rule. (Something similar was done in Stewart v. Ricoh which allowed 28 USC 1404 to control over a state law that invalidated forum selection clauses even though 1404 says nothing about forum selection clauses on its face.)

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