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Full-Text Articles in Law

Revising Civil Rule 56: Judge Mark R. Kravitz And The Rules Enabling Act, Edward H. Cooper Oct 2014

Revising Civil Rule 56: Judge Mark R. Kravitz And The Rules Enabling Act, Edward H. Cooper

Articles

This contribution uses the history of amending Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, “Summary Judgment,” to pay tribute to Mark R. Kravitz and to the Rules Enabling Act process itself. The three central examples involve discretion to deny summary judgment despite the lack of a genuine dispute as to any material fact, the choice whether to prescribe a detailed “point–counterpoint” procedure for presenting and opposing the motion, and the effect of failure to respond to a motion in one of the modes prescribed by the rule. These topics are intrinsically important. The ways in which the Civil Rules Advisory ...


The Federal Rules At 75: Dispute Resolution, Private Enforcement Or Decision According To Law?, James Maxeiner Jul 2014

The Federal Rules At 75: Dispute Resolution, Private Enforcement Or Decision According To Law?, James Maxeiner

All Faculty Scholarship

This essay is a critical response to the 2013 commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were introduced in 1938 to provide procedure to decide cases on their merits. The Rules were designed to replace decisions under the “sporting theory of justice” with decisions according to law. By 1976, at midlife, it was clear that they were not achieving their goal. America’s proceduralists split into two sides about what to do.

One side promotes rules that control and conclude litigation: e.g., plausibility pleading, case management, limited discovery ...


Limits Of Procedural Choice Of Law, S. I. Strong Jan 2014

Limits Of Procedural Choice Of Law, S. I. Strong

Faculty Publications

Commercial parties have long enjoyed significant autonomy in questions of substantive law. However, litigants do not have anywhere near the same amount of freedom to decide procedural matters. Instead, parties in litigation are generally considered to be subject to the procedural law of the forum court.

Although this particular conflict of laws rule has been in place for many years, a number of recent developments have challenged courts and commentators to consider whether and to what extent procedural rules should be considered mandatory in nature. If procedural rules are not mandatory but are instead merely “sticky” defaults, then it may ...


Toil And Trouble: How The Erie Doctrine Became Structurally Incoherent (And How Congress Can Fix It), Alan M. Trammell Jan 2014

Toil And Trouble: How The Erie Doctrine Became Structurally Incoherent (And How Congress Can Fix It), Alan M. Trammell

Scholarly Articles

The Erie doctrine is still a minefield. It has long been a source of frustration for scholars and students, and recent case law has exacerbated the troubles. Although other scholars have noted and criticized these developments, this Article explores a deeper systemic problem that remains undeveloped in the literature. In its present form, the Erie doctrine fails to protect any coherent vision of the structural interests that supposedly are at its core—federalism, separation of powers, and equality.

This Article argues that Congress has the power to fix nearly all of these problems. Accordingly, it proposes a novel statute to ...


A Diamond In The Rough: Trans-Substantivity Of The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure And Its Detrimental Impact On Civil Rights, Suzette Malveaux Jan 2014

A Diamond In The Rough: Trans-Substantivity Of The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure And Its Detrimental Impact On Civil Rights, Suzette Malveaux

Articles

No abstract provided.


Getting Serious: Why Companies Must Adopt Information Governance Measures To Prepare For The Upcoming Changes To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, Philip J. Favro Jan 2014

Getting Serious: Why Companies Must Adopt Information Governance Measures To Prepare For The Upcoming Changes To The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, Philip J. Favro

Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

[W]ithout a corresponding change in discovery culture by courts, counsel and clients alike, the proposed rules modifications will likely have little to no effect on the manner in which discovery is conducted today.


Horton The Elephant Interprets The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure: How The Federal Courts Sometimes Do And Always Should Understand Them, Donald L. Doernberg Jan 2014

Horton The Elephant Interprets The Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure: How The Federal Courts Sometimes Do And Always Should Understand Them, Donald L. Doernberg

Hofstra Law Review

The Court has used radically different techniques when it evaluates the scope of particular rules. When it examines whether there is a conflict between a Federal Rule and a provision of state law (usually, but not always, procedural law), it employs a distinctly read-my-lips approach to determining whether the Federal Rule speaks to the issue with the directness that Hanna v. Plumer (1965) and subsequent cases require. But when the Court considers whether a Federal Rule is consistent with the Rules Enabling Act’s (REA) requirement that no Rule shall “abridge, enlarge or modify” substantive law, a majority of the ...


Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2014

Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The program of regulation through private litigation that Democratic Congresses purposefully created starting in the late 1960s soon met opposition emanating primarily from the Republican party. In the long campaign for retrenchment that began in the Reagan administration, consequential reform proved difficult and ultimately failed in Congress. Litigation reformers turned to the courts and, in marked contrast to their legislative failure, were well-rewarded, achieving growing rates of voting support from an increasingly conservative Supreme Court on issues curtailing private enforcement under individual statutes. We also demonstrate that the judiciary’s control of procedure has been central to the campaign to ...


Rethinking Summary Judgment Empirics: The Life Of The Parties, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2014

Rethinking Summary Judgment Empirics: The Life Of The Parties, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2014

Discretion In Class Certification, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A district court has broad discretion in deciding whether a suit may be maintained as a class action. Variations on this phrase populate the class action jurisprudence of the federal courts. The power of the federal courts to exercise discretion when deciding whether to permit a suit to proceed as a class action has long been treated as an elemental component of a representative proceeding. It is therefore cause for surprise that there is no broad consensus regarding the nature and definition of this judicial discretion in the certification process. The federal courts have not coalesced around a clear or ...