Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Upcoming Supreme Court Argument: Shady Grove Orthopedic Assocs. v. Allstate Ins. Co. (Monday 11/2)

The Supreme Court will come off Halloween weekend in Erie fashion with Monday's oral argument in Shady Grove Orthopedic Assocs. v. Allstate Ins. Co. (No. 08-1008), which considers whether New York's bar on class actions for certain statutory-damages claims (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 901(b)) precludes class certification in a federal court diversity action. Among other issues, the briefs address whether the Erie doctrine requires federal courts to follow state-law class-certification standards, and whether allowing FRCP 23 to displace New York law on class certification would run afoul of the Rules Enabling Act's command that the FRCPs "shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right." (28 U.S.C. 2072(b))

The Supreme Court docket is here, and the Second Circuit's decision is at 549 F.3d 137 (2008). For the parties' merits briefs (courtesy of the ABA), see...

There are also two amicus briefs. One on the petitioner's side (by Public Justice), and one on the respondent's side (by The Partnership for New York City et al., including the US Chamber of Commerce).

For more coverage, see SCOTUSBlog's wiki on the case and this post on the Mass Tort Litigation Blog.

For my own thoughts on the applicability of state-law class-certification standards in federal court, see What Is the Erie Doctrine? (And What Does It Mean for the Contemporary Politics of Judicial Federalism?), 84 Notre Dame L. Rev. 245 (2008). (The article also examines the potential relevance of state-law pleading and summary-judgment standards in federal court.)

--A

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