Saturday, June 18, 2011
Over at Prawfsblawg, Sergio Campos has posted some thoughts on ATT v. Concepcion.
From the post:
Here is the link to Erie. In most cases the underlying entitlements, such as an entitlement to avoid fraudulent conduct, are protected by state law. It would stand to reason that states should also have some say on how those substantive entitlements are procedurally protected, since, as John Dingell knows all too well, an entitlement is only as good as how it is protected. Accordingly, California should have a lot of leeway in how its substantive entitlements are procedurally protected, including prohibiting class waivers for certain state law claims. But it also stands to reason that the federal government, via its Commerce Clause powers, can also regulate interstate activity to further the protection of important entitlements. So to what extent can California define procedure for its entitlements without conflicting with federal objectives? And how are courts supposed to sort out these disputes in any given case?
Friday, June 17, 2011
This case presents the question whether a person indicted for violating a federal statute has standing to challenge its validity on grounds that, by enacting it, Congress exceeded its powers under the Constitution, thus intruding upon the sovereignty and authority of the States.
The indicted defendant, petitioner here, sought to argue the invalidity of the statute. She relied on the Tenth Amendment, and, by extension, on the premise that Congress exceeded its powers by enacting it in contravention of basic federalism principles. The statute, 18 U. S. C. §229, was enacted to comply with a treaty; but petitioner contends that, at least in the present instance, the treaty cannot be the source of congressional power to regulate or prohibit her conduct.
The Court of Appeals held that because a State was not a party to the federal criminal proceeding, petitioner had no standing to challenge the statute as an infringement upon the powers reserved to the States. Having concluded that petitioner does have standing to challenge the federal statute on these grounds, this Court now reverses that determination. The merits of petitioner’s challenge to the statute’s validity are to be considered, in the first instance, by the Court of Appeals on remand and are not addressed in this opinion.
Justice Ginsburg writes a concurring opinion (joined by Justice Breyer) that begins:
I join the Court’s opinion and write separately to make the following observation. Bond, like any other defendant, has a personal right not to be convicted under a constitutionally invalid law.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
In this case, a Federal District Court enjoined a state court from considering a plaintiff’s request to approve a class action. The District Court did so because it had earlier denied a motion to certify a class in a related case, brought by a different plaintiff against the same defendant alleging similar claims. The federal court thought its injunction appropriate to prevent relitigation of the issue it had decided.
We hold to the contrary. In issuing this order to a state court, the federal court exceeded its authority under the “relitigation exception” to the Anti-Injunction Act. That statutory provision permits a federal court to enjoin a state proceeding only in rare cases, when necessary to “protect or effectuate [the federal court’s] judgments.” 28 U. S. C. §2283. Here, that standard was not met for two reasons. First, the issue presented in the state court was not identical to the one decided in the federal tribunal. And second, the plaintiff in the state court did not have the requisite connection to the federal suit to be bound by the District Court’s judgment.
Justice Thomas joined only Parts I and II-A of the opinion.
The New York Law Journal reports that the New York City Bar Association has issued an ethics opinion addressing non-recourse litigation financing by third parties.
The purpose of the opinion appears to be an attempt to clarify existing principles as they apply to third party litigation financing. The bottom line from the NYCBA: Non-recourse litigation financing from third parties is not necessarily illegal but lawyers should be particularly attentive to avoiding conflicts of interest, disclosure of privileged materials, and promoting particular financing agencies or arrangements.
Proficient in Italian? Now on SSRN is an article by Professor Antonio Gidi (University of Houston), Twombly e Iqbal: Il Ruolo Della Civil Procedure Nello Scontro Politico-Ideologico Della Società Statunitense (Twombly and Iqbal: The Role of Civil Procedure in the Political and Ideological Battle in American Society). It was recently published in Int’l Lis (Int’l Lis 104 (2010) (Italy)). Here’s the abstract:
L’autore indaga le sentenze “Twombly” (2007) e “Iqbal” (2009) della Suprema Corte federale degli Stati Uniti sotto un angolo visuale socio-politico, mettendo in evidenza il pericolo di una loro lettura strettamente tecnico-processuale e storico-comparata.
Con il conoscimento della struttura processual-giudiziaria e anche della sua complessità sociale e politica dell’ordinamento statunitense, si puó mettere in risalto da un lato, la prevedibilità delle due sentenze “Twombly” e “Iqbal” nel quadro politico attuale degli Stati Uniti e dall’altro, le significative e preoccupanti conseguenze del nuovo orientamento della suprema giurisprudenza federale statunitense sulla tutela, nel processo, delle parti meno abbienti e socialmente più deboli.
The author analyses the “Twombly” (2007) and “Iqbal” (2009) decisions from a socio-political perspective, highlighting the danger of a merely technical-procedural and historical-comparative analysis.
Only an in-depth knowledge of U. S. procedural and judiciary system as well as of its social and political complexity, highlights on the one hand, the foreseeability of the “Twombly” and “Iqbal” decisions in the present U. S. political situation and on the other hand, the meaningful and worrisome consequences of the U. S. Supreme Court’s new trend on the judicial protection of the poor and the weak.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Professor Robert Bone (University of Texas) has posted on SSRN a draft of his essay, Preclusion, which will be published in Procedural Law and Economics. Here’s the abstract:
This essay on preclusion will be a chapter in the Procedural Law and Economics volume forthcoming from Edward Elgar. It reviews the law-and-economics literature on preclusion, current as of 2008 (when I wrote the chapter). It discusses the economics of claim preclusion and issue preclusion, including nonmutual issue preclusion and nonparty preclusion.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Professor Ronen Perry (University of Haifa) has posted on SSRN a draft of his article, Differential Preemption, which is forthcoming in the Ohio State Law Journal. Here’s the abstract:
Preemption is a constitutional law doctrine whereby state and local authorities are deprived of their powers in particular areas governed by federal law. In setting the boundaries of state sovereignty within a federal polity, it constitutes one of the pillars of the federal political structure. Viewed differently, preemption is one of the strongest legal unification methods. Recent cases like Williamson v. Mazda and Bruesewitz v. Wyeth highlight the growing salience of preemption in contemporary legal discourse. The Article focuses on a highly important and distinctive niche in preemption debate, namely the interrelation between federal maritime law and state law. It offers an original theoretical framework for maritime preemption analysis, which supports a judicial heuristic standing in stark contrast to that advocated by prominent scholars as the late Professor David Currie. Although maritime preemption remains the source of inspiration and the focal point of the Article, the implications of the main idea are far-reaching. It may be pertinent to allocation of lawmaking powers in other areas and to other types of unification and harmonization methods, and may be applicable in other federal and federal-like systems, such as the European Union.
The Article contends that the preemptive force of federal maritime law should relate to prospective litigants’ ability to pre-select the law applicable to their interaction. Maritime preemption is generally based on the need for uniformity. However, and this is crucial, uniformity is not an end in itself, but a means for the protection and advancement of more fundamental federal interests. As the underlying justifications for uniformity weaken, so does the need for preemption. The Article ascertains that if the parties in a particular type of cases can easily select applicable law before the occurrence of the legally relevant incident, uniformity becomes unnecessary. Moreover, where pre-selection based on individual preferences is possible, uniformity may be detrimental to the common good, because it curtails regulatory competition. Under these circumstances, uniformity-driven preemption of state law should be avoided. If, on the other hand, pre-selection is impossible or impractical, the need for uniformity resurfaces, and preemption might be warranted.
Monday, June 13, 2011