Thursday, September 29, 2016

SCOTUS Cert Grants – the Long Conference

Today the Supreme Court issued the order list following its end-of-the-summer “Long Conference.” It granted certiorari in nine cases. Here are some that may be of particular interest...

McLane Co. v. EEOC (No. 15-1248): Whether a district court’s decision to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena should be reviewed de novo, which only the Ninth Circuit does, or should be reviewed deferentially, which eight other circuits do, consistent with this Court’s precedents concerning the choice of standards of review.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger (No. 15-1406) (consolidated with Musnuff v. Haeger (No. 15-1491)): Is a federal court required to tailor compensatory civil sanctions imposed under inherent powers to harm directly caused by sanctionable misconduct when the court does not afford sanctioned parties the protections of criminal due process?

Lewis v. Clarke (No. 15-1500): Whether the sovereign immunity of an Indian tribe bars individual-capacity damages actions against tribal employees for torts committed within the scope of their employment.

 

 

 

September 29, 2016 in Recent Decisions, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vazquez and Vladeck on a Constitutional Right to Collateral Post-Conviction Review

Carlos Vazquez and Steve Vladeck have posted on SSRN a draft of their article, The Constitutional Right to Collateral Post-Conviction Review, which will be published in the Virginia Law Review. Here’s the abstract:

For years, the prevailing academic and judicial wisdom has held that, between them, Congress and the Supreme Court have rendered post-conviction habeas review all-but a dead letter. But in its January 2016 decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court may have dramatically upended that understanding in holding — for the first time — that there are at least some cases in which the Constitution itself creates a right to collateral post-conviction review, i.e., cases in which a state prisoner seeks retroactively to enforce a “new rule” of substantive constitutional law under the familiar doctrine of Teague v. Lane.

On the surface, Montgomery held only that state courts are required to employ Teague’s retroactivity framework when and if they adjudicate habeas petitions relying on new substantive rules of federal law. But, in reaching that conclusion, the Court clarified that Teague’s holding that new substantive rules of federal law are retroactively applicable on collateral review was a constitutional one, a holding that, as we explain, was both novel and important.

We next consider which courts — state or federal — have the constitutional obligation to provide the constitutionally required collateral review recognized in Montgomery. Either way, the implications of Montgomery are far-reaching. To conclude that the state courts must provide collateral review would run counter to the conventional wisdom that states are under no obligation to permit collateral attacks on convictions that have become final. On the other hand, the conclusion that federal courts must have jurisdiction to grant such collateral review is in significant tension with the Madisonian Compromise. In our view, the Supreme Court’s Supremacy Clause jurisprudence establishes that the constitutionally required collateral remedy recognized in Montgomery must be available, in the first instance, in state courts — even if the state has not chosen to provide collateral post-conviction relief for comparable state-law claims. The state courts also have the constitutional power and duty to afford such relief to federal prisoners, but Congress has the power to withdraw such cases from the state courts by giving the federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over such claims. Thus, we conclude that the state courts are constitutionally obligated to afford collateral post-conviction review to state prisoners in the circumstances covered by Montgomery, and the federal courts should be presumed to have the statutory obligation to afford such review to federal prisoners.

Finally, we examine some of the important questions raised by the conclusion that state and federal prisoners have a constitutional right to collateral relief. Although the questions are complex, and not all of the answers are clear, the uncertainties surrounding some of the contours of the remedy recognized in Montgomery should not obscure the fact this seemingly innocuous holding about the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction actually upends a half-century’s worth of doctrinal and theoretical analyses of collateral post-conviction review, a result that could have a breathtaking impact on both commentators’ and courts’ understanding of the relationship between collateral post-conviction remedies and the Constitution.

 

 

 

 

September 28, 2016 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ninth Circuit Decision on FRCP 44.1, Foreign Law & the Uniform Recognition Act

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in de Fontbrune v. Wofsy. The court unanimously held that the district court was correct to consider expert declarations on the content of French law in connection with the defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, although it reversed on the issue of whether the French award at issue in the case was cognizable under California’s Uniform Recognition Act.

Here are the opinion’s opening paragraphs:

Justice Holmes once observed that foreign legal systems can appear to the uninitiated “like a wall of stone,” impenetrable and unyielding. Diaz v. Gonzales, 261 U.S. 102, 106 (1923) (Holmes, J.). For over a century, the federal courts attempted to scale this stone wall by treating questions of foreign law as questions of fact to be pleaded and proved. But over the years, this method proved unsatisfactory, obscuring rather than illuminating the content and nuance of foreign laws. Finally, in 1966, following a proliferation of international litigation, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 44.1 was adopted to furnish federal courts with a uniform procedure for raising and determining an issue concerning foreign law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 44.1 advisory committee’s note. Now, according to the Rule, a “court’s determination [of foreign law] must be treated as a ruling on a question of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 44.1.

Despite the clear mandate of the federal rule, this appeal illustrates the difficulty that can arise in determining foreign law and the confusion surrounding the role of foreign law in domestic proceedings. The dispute stems from the transcontinental attempts of Yves Sicre de Fontbrune to protect his copyright in photographs of Pablo Picasso’s artworks after an American art editor, Alan Wofsy and Alan Wofsy and Associates (collectively, “Wofsy”), reproduced the photographic images. As part of his efforts, de Fontbrune received a judgment in French court of two million euros in “astreinte” against Wofsy for copyright violations. De Fontbrune sought to enforce this astreinte in federal court in California under the California Uniform Foreign-Court Monetary Judgment Recognition Act (“Uniform Recognition Act” or “the Act”), Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 1713 et seq.

The Picasso photographs—intended to convey the quintessence of Picasso’s artworks—now require us to delve into the essence of astreinte, a French judicial device. The enforceability of the French award turns on whether, in this case, the astreinte functions as a fine or penalty—which the Uniform Recognition Act does not recognize—or as a grant of monetary recovery—which is statutorily cognizable. The answer to this question is not a simple matter of translation, but, as we explain, requires a broader look at French law to understand the nature of the astreinte remedy in this case, in conjunction with an analysis of California law regarding the enforcement of foreign judgments.

Download DeFontbrune v Wofsy (9th Cir)

 

 

 

September 27, 2016 in Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Decisions | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Penn Law Review Symposium on Class Actions

On November 11-12, 2016, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review is hosting a symposium entitled “1966 and All That: Class Actions and Their Alternatives After Fifty Years.”

Here’s the schedule, and here’s where you can register.

 

 

 

September 26, 2016 in Class Actions, Conferences/Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Now on JOTWELL: Erbsen on Gilles on Arbitration & the End of Law

Today on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Allan Erbsen’s essay, Common Law in the Age of Arbitration. Allan reviews Myriam Gilles’ recent article, The Day Doctrine Died: Private Arbitration and the End of Law, 2016 U. Ill. L. Rev. 371 (2016).

 

 

 

September 23, 2016 in Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ever Wonder Which SCOTUS Cases Have Been Cited the Most?

We’re just days away from a new U.S. Supreme Court Term. With some notable exceptions, most folks pay attention to Supreme Court decisions not because of who wins or loses those particular cases, but because of what those decisions mean for the law going forward.

So which Supreme Court decisions have been cited the most? The top-ranked cases, it turns out, are right in your 1L civil procedure syllabus. My article that came out this spring (The Rise and Fall of Plausibility Pleading?) includes some data on this from the Shepard’s citation service. In terms of citations by federal courts, the Top-5 are all civil procedure cases: the 1986 summary judgment trilogy (#1, #2, #5) plus Twombly (#3) and Iqbal (#4). Here’s the Top-20:

Rank

Case

Federal Court Citing References

1

Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986)

195,159

2

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986)

183,365

3

Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)

127,521

4

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)

104,712

5

Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986)

94,229

6

Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984)

70,312

7

Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985)

68,944

8

Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)

60,389

9

Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473 (2000)

51,901

10

Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972)

51,029

11

McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973)

44,833

12

Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978)

44,577

13

Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989)

42,084

14

Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389 (1971)

41,975

15

Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976)

41,044

16

Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362 (2000)

40,156

17

Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994)

37,406

18

Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322 (2003)

35,293

19

Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007)

28,298

20

Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982)

26,999

You can find the full Top-100 in Appendix A of the article (p.59-62 of the pdf file).

 

 

 

 

September 21, 2016 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Supreme Court Cases, Twombly/Iqbal | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Second Circuit Reverses $147M Judgment Against Chinese Companies on International Comity Grounds

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in In re: Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation. The plaintiffs had obtained a judgment for $147 million in damages (as well as injunctive relief) against two Chinese companies, but the Second Circuit found that the district court should have abstained on international comity grounds. From the opinion:

This case presents the question of what laws and standards control when U.S. antitrust laws are violated by foreign companies that claim to be acting at the express direction or mandate of a foreign government. Specifically, we address how a federal court should respond when a foreign government, through its official agencies, appears before that court and represents that it has compelled an action that resulted in the violation of U.S. antitrust laws. ***

Here, because the Chinese Government filed a formal statement in the district court asserting that Chinese law required Defendants to set prices and reduce quantities of vitamin C sold abroad, and because Defendants could not simultaneously comply with Chinese law and U.S. antitrust laws, the principles of international comity required the district court to abstain from exercising jurisdiction in this case.

Download In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation (2d Cir)

 

 

September 20, 2016 in Federal Courts, Recent Decisions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy 78th Birthday, FRCPs

The original Federal Rules of Civil Procedure came into effect on September 16, 1938 -- 78 years ago today.

 

 

 

September 16, 2016 in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Third Circuit Decision on FRCP 23(a)’s "Numerosity" Requirement

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued its decision in In re: Modafinil Antitrust Litigation. The court addresses Rule 23(a)(1), which provides that to certify a class action the class must be “so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.”

From the opinion’s introduction:

When thinking of a class action brought under Rule 23(b)(3), we typically think of a large aggregation of individuals (hundreds or even thousands), each with small claims. This case is quite different from that. Here, we are faced with a putative class of twenty-two large and sophisticated corporations, most of which have multi-million dollar claims, who wish to take advantage of the class action device. While we do not foreclose the possibility of class status in this case, or where the putative class is of similar composition, Plaintiffs have not met their burden of showing that the numerosity requirement of Rule 23(a)(1) has been satisfied. We now provide a framework for district courts to apply when conducting their numerosity analyses, and we will remand to the District Court to allow such an analysis in this case.

Download Modafinil (3d Cir)

 

 

 

September 14, 2016 in Class Actions, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Decisions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Newly Approved Federal Court Pilot Programs

Today’s announcement on the U.S. Courts website begins:

Two pilot programs – one that will allow pro se prisoners to file certain federal court documents electronically from a kiosk in a prison and a second that will provide judicial assistance to select district courts with unusually high civil caseloads – were approved today by the Judicial Conference at its biannual meeting in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Publish

 

September 13, 2016 in Federal Courts, In the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gardner on Parochial Procedure

Maggie Gardner has posted on SSRN a draft of her article, Parochial Procedure, which will be published in the Stanford Law Review. Here’s the abstract:

The federal courts are often accused of being too parochial, favoring U.S. parties over foreigners and U.S. law over relevant foreign or international law. According to what this Article terms the “parochial critique,” the courts’ U.S.-centrism generates unnecessary friction with allies, regulatory conflict, and access-to-justice gaps. This parochialism is assumed to reflect the preferences of individual judges: persuade judges to like international law and transnational cases better, the standard story goes, and the courts will reach more cosmopolitan results.

This Article challenges that assumption. It argues instead that parochial doctrines can develop even in the absence of parochial judges. Our sometimes parochial procedure may be the unintended result of decisionmaking pressures that mount over time within poorly designed doctrines: it reflects not so much the personal views of individual judges, but the limits of institutional capacity, the realities of behavioral decisionmaking, and the path dependence of the common law. The Article shows how open-ended decisionmaking in the midst of complexity encourages the use of heuristics that tend to emphasize the local, the familiar, and the concrete. These decisionmaking shortcuts, by disfavoring the foreign, put a parochial thumb on the scale — but that tilt is not limited to individual cases. Rather, it is locked in and amplified through the accumulation of precedent, as later judges rely on existing decisions to resolve new cases. Over time, even judges with positive conceptions of international law and transnational order will find themselves, in applying these doctrines, consistently favoring U.S. litigants over foreigners and U.S. law over foreign or international law. 

To illustrate, the Article traces the evolution of four procedural doctrines: discovery of foreign evidence, forum non conveniens, service of process abroad, and the recognition of foreign judgments. The decisionmaking pressures outlined here can explain why the first two (framed as open-ended standards) are often criticized as parochial while the latter two (framed in more rule-like terms) are not. And if that account is at least plausible, it supports the primary claim of the Article: that the occasional parochialism of our courts does not necessarily reflect the personal prejudices of our judges. If so, then avoiding the costs of parochialism will require structural, not just personal, solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 13, 2016 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

House to Explore Expanding Diversity Jurisdiction

The House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, will hold a hearing on Tuesday, September 13 at 11:00 a.m. on "Exploring Federal Diversity Jurisdiction."

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Charles Cooper, Partner, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC
  • Ms. Joanna Shepherd, Professor of Law, Emory Law School
  • Mr. Ronald Weich, Professor of Law, University of Baltimore

In 2014, Mr. Cooper co-authored an article, Complete Diversity and the Closing of the Federal Courts, which argued for minimal diversity as the jurisdictional standard and was published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, a forum for conservative scholarship.

In 2015, Professor Shepherd published a study conducted for the National Association of Manufacturers entitled Estimating the Impact of a Minimal Diversity Standard on Federal Court Caseloads, which concluded:

This study shows that concerns of diversity jurisdiction burdening the federal courts are largely unfounded. Empirical analysis of almost 3,600 complaints filed in state court shows that replacing complete diversity with a minimal diversity standard would increase existing federal district court caseloads by less than 8 percent. Distributed evenly over existing federal judgeships, this caseload increase translates into an additional 43 cases per year for each judgeship.

Ronald Weich is the dean of University of Baltimore College of Law. 

Hat tip: Altom Maglio.

 

September 11, 2016 in Current Affairs, Federal Courts, Subject Matter Jurisdiction | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Latest Essays on the Courts Law Section of JOTWELL

For those unfamiliar with JOTWELL, it is “a space where legal academics can go to identify, celebrate, and discuss the best new scholarship relevant to the law.” Five years ago, JOTWELL started a Courts Law section, which features scholarship on civil procedure, federal courts, and more.

Here are some of the Courts Law essays from the last few months:

April 14, 2016: Alexandra Lahav, Rethinking Civil Settlement (reviewing J.J. Prescott & Kathryn E. Spier, A Comprehensive Theory of Civil Settlement, N.Y.U. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016))

May 2, 2016: Kevin Walsh, Process Failure on the Road to Obergefell (reviewing Josh Blackman and Howard M. Wasserman, The Process of Marriage Equality, 43 Hastings Const. L.Q. 243 (2016)

May 18, 2016: Adam Steinman, Fit to Be Tied (reviewing Justin Pidot, Tie Votes in the Supreme Court, Minn. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016)).

June 1, 2016: Howard Wasserman, The Irrepressible Myth of SCOTUS (reviewing Corinna Barrett Lain, Three Supreme Court “Failures” and a Story of Supreme Court Success, 69 Vand. L. Rev. 1019 (2016))

June 29, 2016: Suzette Malveaux, Saving the Public Interest Class Action by Unpacking Theory and Doctrinal Functionality (reviewing David Marcus, The Public Interest Class Action, 104 Geo. L.J. 777 (2016))

July 25, 2016: Sergio Campos, Classing Up the Agency (reviewing Administrative Conference of the United States, Aggregate Agency Adjudication, Final Report (June 9, 2016), and Administrative Conference of the United States, Administrative Conference Recommendation 2016-2, Aggregation of Similar Claims in Agency Adjudication (June 10, 2016))

August 17, 2016: Jessica Steinberg, How and Why Representation Matters (reviewing Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter & Alyx Mark, Lawyers, Power, and Strategic Expertise, 93 Denv. L. Rev. 469 (forthcoming 2016))

September 9, 2016: Beth Thornburg, The Vanishing Poor (reviewing Myriam Gilles, Class Warfare: The Disappearance of Low-Income Litigants from the Civil Docket, 65 Emory L.J. 1531 (2016))

 

 

 

 

 

September 9, 2016 in Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Strong on Diversity Jurisdiction & Commercial Trusts After Americold

S.I. Strong has posted on SSRN a draft of her article, Congress and Commercial Trusts: Dealing With Diversity Jurisdiction Post-Americold, which will be published in the Florida Law Review. Here’s the abstract:

Commercial trusts are one of the United States’ most important types of business organizations, holding trillions of dollars of assets and operating nationally and internationally as a “mirror image” of the corporation. However, commercial trusts remain underappreciated and undertheorized in comparison to corporations, often as a result of the mistaken perception that commercial trusts are analogous to traditional intergenerational trusts or that corporations reflect the primary or paradigmatic form of business association.

The treatment of commercial trusts reached its nadir in early 2016, when the U.S. Supreme Court held in Americold Realty Trust v. ConAgra Foods, Inc. that the citizenship of a commercial trust should be equated with that of its shareholder-beneficiaries for purposes of diversity jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the sheer number of shareholder-beneficiaries in most commercial trusts (often amounting to hundreds if not thousands of individuals) typically precludes the parties’ ability to establish complete diversity and thus eliminates the possibility of federal jurisdiction over most commercial trust disputes. As a result, virtually all commercial trust disputes will now be heard in state court, despite their complexity, their impact on matters of national public policy and their effect on the domestic and global economies. 

Americold will also result in differential treatment of commercial trusts and corporations for purposes of federal jurisdiction, even though courts and commentators have long recognized the functional equivalence of the two types of business associations. Furthermore, as this research shows, there is no theoretical justification for this type of unequal treatment. 

This Article therefore suggests, as a normative proposition, that Congress override Americold and provide commercial trusts with access to federal courts in a manner similar to that enjoyed by corporations. This recommendation is the result of a rigorous interdisciplinary analysis of both the jurisprudential and practical problems created by Americold as a matter of trust law, procedural law and the law of incorporated and unincorporated business associations. The Article identifies two possible Congressional responses to Americold, one involving reliance on minimal diversity, as in cases falling under 28 U.S.C. §§1332(d) and 1369, and the other involving a statutory definition of the citizenship of commercial trusts similar to that used for corporations under 28 U.S.C. §1332(c). In so doing, this Article hopes to place commercial trusts and corporations on an equal footing and avoid the numerous negative externalities generated by the Supreme Court’s decision in Americold.

 

 

 

September 9, 2016 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sachs on Pennoyer, Personal Jurisdiction & General Law

Steve Sachs has posted on SSRN a draft of his article, Pennoyer Was Right: Jurisdiction and General Law, which will be published in the Texas Law Review. Here’s the abstract:

Pennoyer v. Neff has a bad rap. As an original matter, Pennoyer is legally correct. Compared to current doctrine, it offers a more coherent and attractive way to think about personal jurisdiction and interstate relations generally.

To wit: The Constitution imposes no direct limits on personal jurisdiction. Jurisdiction isn't a matter of federal law, but of general law--that unwritten law, including much of the English common law and the customary law of nations, that formed the basis of the American legal system. Founding-era states were free to override that law and to exercise more expansive jurisdiction. But if they did, their judgments wouldn't be recognized elsewhere, in other states or in federal courts--any more than if they'd tried to redraw their borders.

As Pennoyer saw, the Fourteenth Amendment changed things by enabling direct federal review of state judgments, rather than making parties wait to challenge them at the recognition stage. It created a federal question of what had been a general one: whether a judgment was issued with jurisdiction, full stop, such that the deprivation of property or liberty it ordered would be done with due process of law.

Reviving Pennoyer would make modern doctrine make more sense. Courts applying the Due Process Clause should avoid pitched battles between "sovereignty" and "liberty," looking instead to current conventions of general and international law. International law may not be much, but it's something: the conventional settlement of the problems of political authority that personal jurisdiction so obviously raises.

Pennoyer's reasoning can be right without International Shoe's outcome being wrong. International law and American practice might be different now than in 1878, or even in 1945. But if not, or if the rules need improvement anyway, Congress has power to improve them--providing federal rules to govern a federal system.

 

 

 

 

September 8, 2016 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Update on the 2016 FRCP Amendments

In April 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted amendments to Rules 4, 6, and 82 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. These amendments would:

(1) add to the last sentence of Rule 4(m) a clarification that Rule 4(m)’s 90-day deadline for serving process does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(h)(2);

(2) amend Rule 6(d) to remove service by electronic means from the modes of service that allow 3 added days to act after being served; and

(3) amend Rule 82 to reflect the 2011 legislation enacting 28 U.S.C. § 1390 and repealing § 1392.

Download FRCP Amendments (Adopted April 2016)

Unless Congress intervenes, these amendments will go into effect on December 1, 2016.

Last week, Sixth Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who chairs the Standing Committee, sent the following letter to Vice President Joe Biden (who in that capacity is also President of the U.S. Senate) and to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan:

Download 2016-08-31-sutton_to_biden_and_ryan_re_civil_rule_4m

The letter addresses an issue regarding the 2015 and 2016 amendments to Rule 4(m). The final text of the amendment that the Supreme Court adopted in April 2016 omitted language that had been added in 2015, which instructed that Rule 4(m)’s 90-day deadline for serving process does not apply to “service of a notice under Rule 71.1(d)(3)(A).” The omission appears to have been inadvertent—that language was not stricken in the redlined version of the 2016 amendment, nor was it referred to in the advisory committee note for the 2016 amendment.

Judge Sutton writes that, despite the omission, the “net effect” of the 2015 and 2016 amendments would include language regarding both Rule 4(h)(2) and Rule 71.1(d)(3)(A) in the last sentence of Rule 4(m). He concludes:

[I]f the current amended rule pending before Congress goes into effect on December 1, 2016, it henceforward will read:

“This subdivision (m) does not apply to service in a foreign country under Rule 4(f), 4(h)(2), or 4(j)(1), or to service of a notice under Rule 71.1(d)(3)(A).”

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2016 in Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure | Permalink | Comments (0)

Eighth Circuit Refuses to Set Aside Order that Missouri Disclose Its Execution Drug Suppliers

Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued its decision in In re: Missouri Department of Corrections. The case involves a subpoena that two Mississippi death row inmates served on the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) seeking discovery relating to Missouri’s use of pentobarbital in lethal injections, including the identities of its pentobarbital suppliers. The inmates are challenging Mississippi’s execution method (which does not use pentobarbital) as violating the Eighth Amendment. 

MDOC moved to quash the subpoena, but the district court in Missouri denied the motion and ordered MDOC to produce most of the information sought by the inmates. The Eighth Circuit has now denied MDOC’s request for a writ of mandamus challenging that order. It’s a short six-page opinion, but it covers a lot of ground—from appellate mandamus, to whether a subpoena creates an undue burden under FRCP 45(d)(3)(A)(iv), to sovereign immunity, to the state secrets privilege.

Download In re Missouri DOC (8th Cir)

 

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2016 in Current Affairs, Discovery, Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Decisions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vazquez on the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

Carlos Vazquez has posted on SSRN Out-Beale-Ing Beale, which was initially published in the American Society of International Law’s AJIL Unbound. Here’s the abstract:

In response to the 1991 Supreme Court decision resuscitating the presumption against extraterritoriality [hereinafter “PAE” or “presumption”], EEOC v. Arabian American Oil Co. (Aramco), Larry Kramer described the presumption as an anachronism — a throwback to the strict territorialist approach to choice of law that prevailed before the mid-Twentieth Century but has been mostly abandoned since then. The title of his scathing article, Vestiges of Beale, referred to Joseph Beale, the Harvard Law professor and reporter of the First Restatement of Conflict of Laws, whose since-discredited theories underlay that Restatement’s approach to choice of law. In the cases since Aramco, the Court has strengthened and expanded the presumption. With its decision in RJR Nabisco v. European Community, it is fair to say, the Court has out-Beale’d Beale.

 

 

 

 

September 7, 2016 in Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Call for Nominations: AALS Federal Courts Section’s Annual Award for Best Untenured Article on the Law of Federal Jurisdiction

Here is the announcement:

The AALS Section on Federal Courts is pleased to announce the fifth annual award for the best article on the law of federal jurisdiction by a full-time, untenured faculty member at an AALS member or affiliate school—and to solicit nominations (including self-nominations) for the prize to be awarded at the 2017 AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. 

The purpose of the award program is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the field of federal courts by untenured faculty members. To that end, eligible articles are those specifically in the field of Federal Courts that were published by a recognized journal during the twelve-month period ending on September 1, 2016 (date of actual publication determines eligibility). Eligible authors are those who, at the close of nominations (i.e., as of September 15, 2016), are untenured, full-time faculty members at AALS member or affiliate schools, and have not previously won the award.

Nominations (and questions about the award) should be directed to Prof. Bradford Clark at George Washington University Law School (bclark@law.gwu.edu). Without exception, all nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on September 15, 2016. Nominations will be reviewed by a prize committee comprised of Professors Curtis Bradley (Duke), Bradford Clark (George Washington), Tara Leigh Grove (William & Mary), Gillian Metzger (Columbia), and Caleb Nelson (Virginia), with the result announced at the Federal Courts section program at the 2017 AALS Annual Meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

September 6, 2016 in Conferences/Symposia, Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thomas on Parens Patriae Actions

Margaret Thomas has posted on SSRN a draft of her article, Parens Patriae and the States' Historic Police Powers, which will be published in the SMU Law Review. Here’s the abstract:

This is a draft of a forthcoming work in progress. Class actions have long been contracting as procedural vehicles in mass tort litigation. At the same time, parens patriae actions brought by state attorneys general for injuries to their state’s citizenry have been expanding. This form of public dispute has emerged as a full-fledged alternative form of aggregate litigation in mass torts. The use of this public alternative is already widespread in consumer, antitrust, environmental, and health law cases. 

Despite the widespread use of parens patriae litigation by states, the source of the power to sue in this way is vague and ill-defined. Courts have struggled to articulate and explain the source and scope of the state’s power to bring mass tort suits for injuries to the state’s populace, sometimes reaching seemingly contradictory results.

Although the use of parens patriae power in mass tort litigation has been both praised and criticized by complex litigation scholars, commentators have largely overlooked the historical and constitutional functional role of parens patriae litigation. This Article fills that gap by examining the states’ parens patriae power from the Framing to the modern era excavate the doctrine’s historical roots and purpose in our constitutional structure. It debunks the false history used by modern courts to justify the doctrine’s existence, suggesting courts have relied on a faulty foundation to expand the doctrine. In so doing, this Article makes space for a new foundation for parens patriae litigation rooted in the historic police powers of the states. 

The Article argues that the historic police powers of the states are inextricable from parens patriae power. Modern mass tort litigation brought by states is thus deeply connected to federalism in a way that traditional class actions are not.

 

 

 

September 6, 2016 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)