Diversity Ruling Binding on State Courts?

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clshopeful
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Diversity Ruling Binding on State Courts?

Postby clshopeful » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:12 pm

Can someone give me the answer? I cannot find it.

If a federal court is sitting in diversity jurisdiction, i.e., applying state law, is the federal court's ruling binding on the lower state courts in the state? Such as if a diversity case decided a state law issue by interpreting a state law that hadn't been done before by the state courts; does this interpretation bind a state superior court?

my prediction is No, since doing so would usurp state's ability to have its own laws

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landshoes
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Re: Diversity Ruling Binding on State Courts?

Postby landshoes » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:56 am

No, it's not binding on state courts. I forget exactly what case, but you should probably read Erie or like a supplement or something.

kykiske
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Re: Diversity Ruling Binding on State Courts?

Postby kykiske » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:45 am

No, it is not. If a federal court exercises diversity jurisdiction, it must apply the law in a manner that the "highest court in the state" would apply the law.

It'd be a breach of a state's sovereignty for a federal court's decision on a state law issue to bind the state courts.

Of course, you can always cite to the federal decision as persuasive authority, but not as binding.

I agree with landshoes. Skim the Erie case and its progeny.

hlsperson1111
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Re: Diversity Ruling Binding on State Courts?

Postby hlsperson1111 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:47 pm

kykiske wrote:No, it is not. If a federal court exercises diversity jurisdiction, it must apply the law in a manner that the "highest court in the state" would apply the law.

It'd be a breach of a state's sovereignty for a federal court's decision on a state law issue to bind the state courts.

Of course, you can always cite to the federal decision as persuasive authority, but not as binding.

I agree with landshoes. Skim the Erie case and its progeny.


This is all correct. The only thing I would add is that the reverse of this question (are decisions by state trial courts/intermediate appellate courts binding on federal courts sitting in diversity) is a bit trickier, but the answer is usually "yes."

kykiske
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Re: Diversity Ruling Binding on State Courts?

Postby kykiske » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:54 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:
kykiske wrote:No, it is not. If a federal court exercises diversity jurisdiction, it must apply the law in a manner that the "highest court in the state" would apply the law.

It'd be a breach of a state's sovereignty for a federal court's decision on a state law issue to bind the state courts.

Of course, you can always cite to the federal decision as persuasive authority, but not as binding.

I agree with landshoes. Skim the Erie case and its progeny.


This is all correct. The only thing I would add is that the reverse of this question (are decisions by state trial courts/intermediate appellate courts binding on federal courts sitting in diversity) is a bit trickier, but the answer is usually "yes."


STOP IT DUDE. You're invoking bad memories from my state and federal courts course.




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