Thursday, March 1, 2007
Click the link at the bottom of this post to listen to this week's installment of the Thursday Interview. The interview this week is with Prof. Scott Dodson of the University of Arkansas School of Law about his new article, In Search of Removal Jurisdiction, which has been submitted to the Standford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum and will be presented in abbreviated oral form at the 2007 Southeastern Association of Law Schools annual conference. Prof. Dodson proposes a framework for characterizing provisions of the removal statutes as either jurisdictional or procedural. Here's the abstract:
“Jurisdiction,” it has been observed, “is a word of many, too many, meanings.” The ubiquitous and somewhat careless use of the term “jurisdictional” by courts has spawned confusion over what is and is not jurisdictional in a variety of contexts, including removal. What is and what is not jurisdictional in the removal statutes has broad implications both for litigants and for courts and looms as the next great front in the jurisdictional characterization landscape. It lacks scholarly coverage, is the subject of deep divisions in the lower courts, and cries out for resolution.
In this article, I develop an initial framework for tackling the jurisdictional/procedural characterization issues of the removal statute. I build upon the groundwork laid by prior precedent, modified to account for the quasi-jurisdictional nature of removal and its impact on the federal-state balance of power. I then showcase the utility of the framework in a case study of one particularly nettlesome removal issue, the forum defendant rule. The case study demonstrates both why the lower courts' approaches to resolving the issue have been misguided and how my framework can provide a more reasoned approach.
I end with thoughts for the future, including how my proposed framework will be a catalyst for further discussion on removal characterization and how it might affect other non-removal questions waiting for resolution.
A big thank you to Prof. Dodson for a great interview.
Download dodson_removal_interview.mp3 (13' 45")