Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

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dannynoonan87
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Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:32 pm

What is it?

Clearly

US Supreme Court > 2d Circuit > N./S./E./W. District Court

and

NY Court of Appeals > NY Supreme court Appellate Division > NY Supreme Court

But how do the two intertwine?

I'm dealing with a hypo where the Southern District Court will be applying NY law.

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dingbat
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:34 pm

dannynoonan87 wrote:What is it?

Clearly

US Supreme Court > 2d Circuit > N./S./E./W. District Court

and

NY Court of Appeals > NY Supreme court Appellate Division > NY Supreme Court

But how do the two intertwine?

I'm dealing with a hypo where the Southern District Court will be applying NY law.

How do you not know this?
They don't intertwine. You either being a case to state court or to federal court. If you bring a diversity matter to federal court you apply state law.

Do you have a real question, or do you just want a copy of the first page of just about any basic text on the law?

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dannynoonan87
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:38 pm

The S.D.N.Y. is applying NY state law. It wasn't a stupid question.

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dingbat
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:43 pm

dannynoonan87 wrote:The S.D.N.Y. is applying NY state law. It wasn't a stupid question.

What is your question?

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dannynoonan87
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:45 pm

my question is about AUTHORITY not jurisdiction or appellate review. If you can find the answer the my question on the first page of any basic text on the law, please feel free to paste it here. Thanks!

What's a more authoritative case to cite? A NY Ct of Appeals, or a 2d circuit, or a district court?

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Davidbentley
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby Davidbentley » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:48 pm

Image

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dingbat
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:52 pm

dannynoonan87 wrote:my question is about AUTHORITY not jurisdiction or appellate review. If you can find the answer the my question on the first page of any basic text on the law, please feel free to paste it here. Thanks!

What's a more authoritative case to cite? A NY Ct of Appeals, or a 2d circuit, or a district court?

That makes more sense. NY court of appeals is final arbiter of NY law
Question to keep in mind when considering federal cases: did the 2nd circuit case apply NY law?
(Those weigh more heavily than eg a case applying VT law)

Sorry for my pissy answer. I'm in a foul mood

RPK34
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby RPK34 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:56 pm

dannynoonan87 wrote:my question is about AUTHORITY not jurisdiction or appellate review. If you can find the answer the my question on the first page of any basic text on the law, please feel free to paste it here. Thanks!

What's a more authoritative case to cite? A NY Ct of Appeals, or a 2d circuit, or a district court?


Why would you be citing to the 2nd circuit or district court? Have they interpreted this state law?

If so, then NY Court of Appeals is most persuasive. What they say IS the law. 2nd circuit and district courts are just attempting to interpret the state law correctly as they understand it. Obviously, if there's any conflict, NY COA will win.

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dannynoonan87
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:59 pm

RPK34 wrote:
Why would you be citing to the 2nd circuit or district court? Have they interpreted this state law?

If so, then NY Court of Appeals is most persuasive. What they say IS the law. 2nd circuit and district courts are just attempting to interpret the state law correctly as they understand it. Obviously, if there's any conflict, NY COA will win.


Yes. The federal and state cases I have are ALL on point.

This is a diversity case in federal court in NY state. NY state law is being applied.

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dingbat
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dingbat » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:02 pm

dannynoonan87 wrote:
RPK34 wrote:
Why would you be citing to the 2nd circuit or district court? Have they interpreted this state law?

If so, then NY Court of Appeals is most persuasive. What they say IS the law. 2nd circuit and district courts are just attempting to interpret the state law correctly as they understand it. Obviously, if there's any conflict, NY COA will win.


Yes. The federal and state cases I have are ALL on point.

This is a diversity case in federal court in NY state. NY state law is being applied.

NY COA is always the most authorative when it comes to NY law

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby I.P. Daly » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:09 pm

The Erie doctrine requires federal courts to apply substantive state law to claims arising from state law (which may be heard in federal courts under supplemental or diversity jurisdiction). In difficult cases, the federal courts must either guess as to how a court of that state would decide the issue or "certify" the issue to a state court if the state has provided for such a procedure.

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Bronck
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby Bronck » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:11 pm

I.P. Daly wrote:The Erie doctrine requires federal courts to apply substantive state law to claims arising from state law (which may be heard in federal courts under supplemental or diversity jurisdiction). In difficult cases, the federal courts must either guess as to how a court of that state would decide the issue or "certify" the issue to a state court if the state has provided for such a procedure.


+1

So shouldn't the NY CoA be the highest authority? If you still have a copy of Glannon, his discussion on it is pretty clear, I just can't remember all the nuances.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:20 pm

Yup, NY CoA would be highest, then whatever NY calls its intermediate state CoA. Then 2nd Cir cases applying NY law, but they're really only persuasive.

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dannynoonan87
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:22 pm

Bronck wrote:
+1

So shouldn't the NY CoA be the highest authority? If you still have a copy of Glannon, his discussion on it is pretty clear, I just can't remember all the nuances.


I understand NY CoA is the highest authority since it's a state law issue. But I have no idea if it's better to cite a 2d circuit case over an NY App. Div. case, or a district court case over an NY trial ct case, etc.

We tried to do a similar exercise in Legal Writing one time and it was a shitshow for me and my classmates. And I sold my glannon civ pro book...

Thanks to all those trying to help, but if someone who really knows what they're talking about could just list the courts in my first post from top to bottom in descending order of authority for this issue I would be INCREDIBLY APPRECIATIVE.

I would imagine the list would start out:

NY CoA
2d circuit
...
Last edited by dannynoonan87 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:28 pm

This is what I just answered. From most to least authoritative:

1. NY CoA
2. NY intermediate appellate (sorry, I'm confused by what y'all call it)
[state trial court stuff is never cited]
---------------
3. 2d Cir applying NY law
4. SDNY applying NY law

(stuff under the line is technically only persuasive)

State trumps federal here, so a state intermediate appellate is more authoritative than a federal CoA applying state law (which is technically only persuasive, and you're probably better off going to whatever state cases the circuit cites to support its interpretation, but cir. cases can still be quite persuasive if they're directly on point or have incredibly analogous facts).

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby I.P. Daly » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:30 pm

Dude, you're over thinking this, but here's your 2nd Cir authority:

McCarthy v. Olin Corp., 119 F. 3d 148 (2nd Cir. 1997) wrote:A federal court sitting in a diversity case will apply the substantive law of the forum state on outcome determinative issues. See Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188 (1938); Travelers Ins. Co. v. 633 Third Assocs., 14 F.3d 114, 119 (2d Cir.1994). We determine de novo what the law of New York is. Bank of New York v. Amoco Oil Co., 35 F.3d 643, 650 (2d Cir.1994) (citing Salve Regina College v. Russell, 499 U.S. 225, 111 S.Ct. 1217, 113 L.Ed.2d 190 (1991)). In making this determination, we afford the greatest weight to decisions of the New York Court of Appeals. Id. "Where the substantive law of the forum state is uncertain or ambiguous, the job of the federal courts is carefully to predict how the highest court of the forum state would resolve the uncertainty or ambiguity." Travelers Ins. Co., 14 F.3d at 119. "Where the high court has not spoken, the best indicators of how it would decide are often the decisions of lower [New York] courts." In re Brooklyn Navy Yard Asbestos Litigation, 971 F.2d 831, 850 (2d Cir.1992). We may also consider relevant cases from jurisdictions other than New York. Bank of New York, 35 F.3d at 650.

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dannynoonan87
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dannynoonan87 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:35 pm

Thank you for the help. Who would have thought that the answer to my question lies in a case about cop-killer bullets.

I'm probably overthinking this, but I'm working for an Art. III judge this summer so I better figure this shit out.

Thanks again.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:45 am

dannynoonan87 wrote:The S.D.N.Y. is applying NY state law. It wasn't a stupid question.

Overthinking this. Apply what is obvious.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:01 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is what I just answered. From most to least authoritative:

1. NY CoA
2. NY intermediate appellate (sorry, I'm confused by what y'all call it)
[state trial court stuff is never cited]
---------------
3. 2d Cir applying NY law
4. SDNY applying NY law

(stuff under the line is technically only persuasive)

State trumps federal here, so a state intermediate appellate is more authoritative than a federal CoA applying state law (which is technically only persuasive, and you're probably better off going to whatever state cases the circuit cites to support its interpretation, but cir. cases can still be quite persuasive if they're directly on point or have incredibly analogous facts).


...Unless the question is arguably procedural or the substantive state law conflicts with a federal law

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:12 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is what I just answered. From most to least authoritative:

1. NY CoA
2. NY intermediate appellate (sorry, I'm confused by what y'all call it)
[state trial court stuff is never cited]
---------------
3. 2d Cir applying NY law
4. SDNY applying NY law

(stuff under the line is technically only persuasive)

State trumps federal here, so a state intermediate appellate is more authoritative than a federal CoA applying state law (which is technically only persuasive, and you're probably better off going to whatever state cases the circuit cites to support its interpretation, but cir. cases can still be quite persuasive if they're directly on point or have incredibly analogous facts).


...Unless the question is arguably procedural or the substantive state law conflicts with a federal law

Yeah, I just didn't want to make this more complicated!

SportsFan
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby SportsFan » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:22 pm

If he's in a district court, he can ignore Appellate Division precedent since district courts try to rule how the states highest court would rule, correct?

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby I.P. Daly » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:30 pm

SportsFan wrote:If he's in a district court, he can ignore Appellate Division precedent since district courts try to rule how the states highest court would rule, correct?


You're not supposed to ignore it, but you can attempt to distinguish it etc if it's not helpful to you.

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dingbat
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:30 pm

SportsFan wrote:If he's in a district court, he can ignore Appellate Division precedent since district courts try to rule how the states highest court would rule, correct?

Pretty much / gross oversimplification
How other appellate court cases have ruled is persuasive, not authoritative.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hierarchy of Authority in Federal court in NY State

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:55 pm

SportsFan wrote:If he's in a district court, he can ignore Appellate Division precedent since district courts try to rule how the states highest court would rule, correct?

But if the NY CoA hasn't ruled on an issue and the Appellate Division has, the Appellate Div case is the highest state court ruling out there. So no, he can't just ignore it.




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