Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
bdm261
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:19 am

Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby bdm261 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:43 pm

CivPro prof. was discussing the tests each case put forth; I was completely lost because she was zipping around the board making illegible scribbles with the magic marker and talking a hundred miles per minute like this was all review for us. I ended up taking no meaningful notes today and just sat there frustrated. She says we need to understand it all by Wed. and I'm looking for some simple way to determine when federal courts apply state or federal law - it can't be this difficult, or is it?

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby guano » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:09 pm

This is probably oversimplified but when a federal court is hearing a matter under diversity jurisdiction, state law applies. When a federal court is hearing a matter under original jurisdiction, federal law applies

mr.hands
Posts: 892
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:23 pm

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby mr.hands » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:35 pm

guano wrote:This is probably oversimplified but when a federal court is hearing a matter under diversity jurisdiction, state law applies. When a federal court is hearing a matter under original jurisdiction, federal law applies


This is an oversimplification and doesn't really get to the heart of Erie. The answer depends largely on the facts you're presented with.

Look around online, or in a supplement like Crunchtime, for an Erie flow chart. I'm not a flow-chart-kind-of-guy but this is one of the few areas in 1L where i found it to be *extremely* helpful. (i would give you the one i used but i can't find it on my hard drive). Memorize the flow chart, or use it during your test if that's allowed, and you can go step-by-step through it without much trouble

gchatbrah
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:26 am

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby gchatbrah » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:02 pm

mr.hands wrote:
guano wrote:This is probably oversimplified but when a federal court is hearing a matter under diversity jurisdiction, state law applies. When a federal court is hearing a matter under original jurisdiction, federal law applies


This is an oversimplification and doesn't really get to the heart of Erie. The answer depends largely on the facts you're presented with.

Look around online, or in a supplement like Crunchtime, for an Erie flow chart. I'm not a flow-chart-kind-of-guy but this is one of the few areas in 1L where i found it to be *extremely* helpful. (i would give you the one i used but i can't find it on my hard drive). Memorize the flow chart, or use it during your test if that's allowed, and you can go step-by-step through it without much trouble


Acing Civil Procedure provides a set of checklists that you can use for exams. Great starting point -- we had an open book exam so I even brought it in to the classroom with me. Regardless, it helps you structure a personal outline.

User avatar
thementor31337
Posts: 100
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:35 pm

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby thementor31337 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:39 pm

I found part III(A) of Justice Ginsburg's opinion in Gasperini v. Center for Humanities, Inc., 518 U.S. 526 (1996) to be super helpful in clearly describing the tests for the three cases. I don't know if you got to that yet, but that case came right after the Erie, Guaranty Trust, Hanna trifecta in our casebook.

dj_roomba
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:28 am

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby dj_roomba » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:15 pm

Not sure. Maybe this might help. I'm a 1L too so.... yeah you might want to check this before taking my word for it

Erie: Very generally, in federal claims, state law applies.

Byrd: Not sure what the "rule" is but out of the 3 points that the Court made, it seems like the "rule" would be that state laws cannot alter the essential character or function of a federal court (use of a jury)

Hanna test: Under York, federal court judgments should come out the same way as if it were determined in state court. However, this test was an oversimplification. The real purpose was to prevent forum shopping and inequitable administration of law. Also, Erie was never supposed to void a federal rule. Instead, it was supposed to show that state law should be used when there is no federal rule. Not sure what the "rule" is but I'm guessing it has to do with that last sentence (that state law can't void federal rule)

There are other factors, such as generally, if the State's highest court has not declared a law, the federal court has to act like another state court, using lower state court holdings and high state court's dicta

User avatar
sanjola
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby sanjola » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:49 am

bdm261 wrote:CivPro prof. was discussing the tests each case put forth; I was completely lost because she was zipping around the board making illegible scribbles with the magic marker and talking a hundred miles per minute like this was all review for us. I ended up taking no meaningful notes today and just sat there frustrated. She says we need to understand it all by Wed. and I'm looking for some simple way to determine when federal courts apply state or federal law - it can't be this difficult, or is it?


:lol: Are we in the same class?!

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Erie - Hanna - Byrd Tests?

Postby bk1 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:24 am

This is how my prof taught it:
bk1 wrote:Erie deals with cases where you have a conflict of law between state and fed law. State law controls substantive issues and fed law controls procedural issues. However it becomes murky when you actually look at given laws (e.g. is a statute of limitations substantive or procedural?)

Pre-Erie - in diversity cases apply state statutory law but fed common law (not state common law)
Erie - in diversity cases apply state common law too, thus state law controls substantive issues and fed law controls procedural issues
Hanna - how to decide which rule to apply? look to source of fed law:
[*]if fed law is from statute/FRCP/constitution, then it is presumptively valid and controls (you don't even have to do an Erie analysis since there is no conflict since these fed laws preempt state law).
[*]if fed law is from fed common law or fed judge made law, then it is not presumptively valid and you have to do Byrd/Hanna/York/Erie tests to determine whether the fed law or state law should be applied.
Shady Grove - if there seems to be no conflict at first, is it possible to broaden the statute/FRCP/constitution to create conflict and thus apply fed law over state law?
Gasperini - if there is a conflict, is it possible to narrow the statute/FRCP/constitution to avoid conflict and thus apply state law over fed law?

ERIE TESTS
Pure Erie Test - reducing forum shopping, prevent inequitable administration of laws
Byrd Test - balancing state interest in substantive rights with federal interest in procedural uniformity
Hanna+York Test - outcome determinative test, look to see whether applying fed rule from the point of view of the start of the lawsuit would create a different outcome from applying the state law




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], brgtvnhsmrk, Google [Bot], lakers3, natemac60, paragonloop and 8 guests