Preface 6 results (showing 5 best matches)
- This “Black Letter” succinctly states the law. In addition, the exceptions to the rules appear in the text. The rules and exceptions appear in condensed form to facilitate quick and easy recollection. A Text Correlation Chart provides a convenient means of relating material contained in the Black Letter to appropriate sections of the casebooks students use.
- The “Black Letter” series aims to help law students recognize and understand the basic principles and issues of law in a law school course. It functions both as a study aid when preparing for classes and as a review of the subject matter when studying for an examination.
- Experienced law school teachers who are recognized national authorities on the subject covered write each “Black Letter.”
- We believe that the materials in this Black Letter will facilitate your study of a law school course and assure success in writing examinations not only for the course but also for the bar examination. We wish you success.
- The format of this “Black Letter” is specially designed for review. (1) The Capsule Summary is an abbreviated review of the subject matter that is uefseful both before and after studying the main body of the text. The headings in the Capsule Summary follow the main text of the “Black Letter.” (3)
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Chapter XV. S Corporations 240 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The district court ruled that federal law governed and that the SBA had priority, analogizing the SBA’s interest to a federal tax lien, which has special priority. The government won. The circuit court reversed. It agreed that federal law governed the issue. (Both courts were following clear Supreme-Court precedent that federal law had to govern the federal government’s rights under nationwide federal programs.) But the circuit court differed on content of the federal law, looking instead to the UCC for priority rules. Private Lender won on appeal.
- (2) One may question, however, why the extension of the federal judicial power to such cases supports the conclusion that federal courts can develop federal common law. The federal “judicial power” also extends to diversity, but made clear that federal courts lacked authority to develop substantive common law in diversity cases.
- The Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts that federal law had to govern the priority issue. But it diverged from them, ruling that the federal courts should adopt state law as the content of the federal common law.
- (4) Federal courts do not develop a distinct federal commonlaw standard in every admiralty case. Rather, the Supreme Court uses a balancing test to decide whether federal common law should supersede otherwise applicable state law. It is not clear how the Court has drawn the line it has in the various cases; that has led to substantial confusion and uncertainty.
- Federal common law exists. There is a widespread misconception that , 304 U.S. 64 (1938), said there was none. It did not. “There is no federal common law.” at 78 (emphasis added). The italicized word is important, and the sequence of words is important; to think of “general federal common law” is misleading. When federal common law does exist, state and federal judges must apply it in preference to state law (whether statutory or common law). The Supremacy Clause, art. VI, cl. 2, demands that result. This Chapter concerns (1) when it is permissible for federal common law to exist, and (2) how federal courts go about making it. The areas in which federal common law exists are reasonably clear, but the courts’ reasoning in finding an issue within or without the scope of permissible federal common law is often difficult to fathom, and the results are often quite challenging to reconcile.
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Capsule Summary 139 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Federal courts create federal common law in four ways: (1) spontaneous generation, (2) construing a jurisdictional grant to be an implicit congressional direction to create common law, (3) implying private rights of action in constitutional provisions and statutes that create individual rights, and (4) filling in statutory interstices. There must be an underlying dominant federal interest that justifies creating federal common law; that principle undergirds all four techniques. That interest may not always require the federal common law to be different from the law of the state in which the federal court sits, so it is common for the federal courts to adopt state law as the content of federal common law, which permits them to vary from state law applying state law would produce results incompatible with the dominant federal interest.
- The Supreme Court ordered abstention in , 312 U.S. 496 (1941). Plaintiffs challenged a state-agency order as racially discriminatory. There was a serious question as to whether state law gave the agency the authority to enter the order. If it did, there was a serious constitutional issue. If it did not, there was no constitutional issue. In such circumstances—when the federal court could avoid having to decide a constitutional issue if the state’s courts interpreted unclear state law in a particular way—the Court held that federal courts should give the state courts an opportunity to construe the state law. The federal court stays proceedings while the litigants go to state court for a definitive interpretation of the state law issue. If the party seeking abstention properly reserves the federal constitutional issue for the federal court, the litigation can return to federal court for ultimate determination of the case if the state court judgment leaves the constitutional issue in...
- The Supreme Court has limited statutory federal-question jurisdiction in two ways. First, the “well-pleaded-complaint” rule provides that courts may look only at the plaintiff’s claim to determine whether a case arises under federal law. The complaint cannot use an anticipated federal defense as a predicate for jurisdiction. Only the plaintiff’s assertion that some federal law supports the relief demanded satisfies § 1331.
- The Founders clearly envisioned that state courts would play a major role in adjudicating and enforcing federal law. The fact that the Constitution did not mandate creating lower federal courts indicates that the Framers assumed state courts would be involved. Moreover, though Congress has always provided lower federal courts, it did not permanently vest them with general federal-question jurisdiction until 1875. The Supremacy Clause compels the state courts to enforce federal law.
- The Court has long held that it lacks authority to review state-court interpretations of state law. It is not clear whether the Constitution requires this rule, but it is clear in practice. A corollary to this principle refuses review if the state decision rests on “adequate and independent” state law grounds. Thus, if the state decision rests upon both federal and non-federal substantive grounds, the Court cannot review if the non-federal ground, standing alone, would support the judgment. This ensures that the Supreme Court does not issue essentially advisory opinions on federal law.
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Chapter VI. Partnership Allocations: Income-Shifting Safeguards 72 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Some commentators criticize supplemental jurisdiction because it relieves state courts from discharging their responsibility to adjudicate matters of state law and prevents improvements of state-court ability to interpret federal law by keeping some federal claims out of the state courts. The opposite, however, seems just as compelling: unduly supplemental jurisdiction precludes federal courts from exercising their primary responsibility to interpret, develop, and apply federal law and limits federal court familiarity with state law that they must deal with in diversity and many federal-question cases.
- P asserts a federal-question claim against D and a state-law claim against D that arises from the same transaction as the federal-question claim. P and D are co-citizens. The federal-question claim satisfies § 1331 and is properly in federal court; § 1331 is a stand-alone ticket of admission. The state-law claim has no stand-alone ticket. There is no federal question, and because P and D are cocitizens, no diversity jurisdiction either. However, because the state-law claim arises from the same operative facts as the federal-question claim, a federal court has supplemental jurisdiction.
- , 383 U.S. 715 (1966), is the Court’s leading discussion of the constitutionality of what today we call supplemental jurisdiction. A Tennessee plaintiff asserted a federal-question claim against a Tennessee defendant and appended a state-law claim that arose from the same dispute. Although the federal claim invoked federal-question jurisdiction, there was no stand-alone jurisdictional ticket for the state-law claim. The Court permitted federal courts to hear such claims, however, if they satisfy the
- a. Plaintiff sued a county in federal court, asserting a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He also asserted state-law claims under supplemental jurisdiction. The district court dismissed the § 1983 claim on the merits and exercised its discretion under § 1367(c)(3) to decline supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims. Plaintiff then sued on the state-law claims in state court.
- Supplemental jurisdiction thus fosters litigation efficiency, because it allows the court to determine all transactionally related claims in a single case. In Example 1, it would be wasteful to try P’s claim against D in federal court and yet try D’s claim against P in state court. In Example 2, it would be wasteful if P’s federal-question claim were in federal court but her state-law claim had to go to state court. In both of the modified examples, there would be enormous overlap of evidence in the proceedings, consuming roughly twice as much judicial and litigant time (and expense).
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Chapter XV. S Corporations Part 2 30 results (showing 5 best matches)
- f. Although federal common law governed the question, the Supreme Court, noting that there was no need for national uniformity on this question, held that the federal common law would adopt the law of the state in which that federal court sat. California law makes a limitations dismissal not “on the merits,” so the federal judgment in California had no claim-preclusive effect.
- a. Federal securities laws did not supersede, even partially, § 1738; the state-court judgment releasing exclusively federal claims was entitled to full faith and credit. Nothing in federal law evinced congressional intent to contravene the rules of preclusion or to prevent state-court litigants from voluntarily releasing federal claims in approved settlements.
- A plaintiff class action in Delaware state court asserted state-law claims arising out of a tender offer and corporate acquisition. Settlement of the class action included release of any federal claims concerning the tender offer and acquisition. The Delaware courts approved the settlement and entered a valid final judgment. Some of the class members filed a second case in federal court, asserting federal securities law violations, which are within the federal courts’ exclusive jurisdiction. Thus, the Delaware courts could not have adjudicated those claims. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court held that because Delaware law would ascribe claim-preclusive effect to the settlement judgment, a federal court must also. Thus, class members who had not opted out could not assert their federal claims in federal court. The Supreme Court emphasized that § 1738 required this result. shows that federal statutes do not supersede § 1738 unless they clearly so provide.
- Doctors sued a professional association in state court, alleging denial of membership in the association in violation of state law. After the state court entered judgment against them, the doctors sued in federal court, alleging that their exclusion violated federal antitrust laws. Federal antitrust claims have exclusive federal jurisdiction, and thus plaintiffs could not have asserted then in the state case. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court held that the federal court had to determine whether law of the judgment-rendering state would find that the doctors violated the rules of claim preclusion. It was a strange undertaking: the state court had to determine whether failure to assert a claim over which the state court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction meant that the subsequent federal was improper.
- 3. A more difficult issue is whether a second court must apply federal preclusion law if the first judgment was in a diversity case. Lower courts split on the issue; some applied federal preclusion law and others applied preclusion law of the state in which the federal court sat.
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Chapter IX. Property Transactions Between Partnerships and Partners 116 results (showing 5 best matches)
- This chapter examines issues concerning state courts enforcing federal law and policy. First is the state courts’ role in the federal system; it is clear that the Founders envisioned the state courts as an important resource for enforcing federal law. Second is when the state courts have authority to adjudicate federal claims. This issue depends on whether Congress provides exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction (and what to do when Congress is silent). Third, having seen when state courts may enforce federal rights, the question is whether state courts do so. This implicates the Supremacy Clause. Fourth, can a state court issue an order, such as a writ of habeas corpus, binding on a federal officer? One of the most delicate themes of federalism—the proper relationship between state judicial systems and federal law—runs throughout this chapter.
- d. The third possible valid-excuse situation arises when a parallel suit between the same parties is pending in federal court. 1963), upheld dismissal of a FELA claim pending in federal court on an identical complaint. The Ohio court stressed that it was not discriminating against federal law because Ohio courts would also dismiss state-law cases in similar circumstances. Once again, there was no discrimination against federal law. The United States Supreme Court has never spoken to this situation (and no other federal court can speak to it except in , because the inferior federal courts cannot hear appeals of a state-court dismissals). On the other hand, since the key factor for the Supreme Court appears to be whether the state courts have discriminated against federal law, one may expect, if the issue ever reaches the Court, that it will affirm the state court’s power to dismiss.
- 2. Congress has broad power to allocate jurisdiction over federal-question cases between state and federal courts. Even when Congress vested the lower federal courts with general federal-question jurisdiction, it did not make it exclusive. Congress has assumed consistently either state or federal trial courts can hear most cases arising under federal law.
- 3. State courts determining such issues might appear incongruous. If the state courts can decide these questions, state courts will adjudicate of federal law even though unable to adjudicate for recovery under the same law. (But remember that legislatures confer jurisdiction over claims, not issues.) On the other hand, if the state courts cannot decide these matters, the litigation must either (a) proceed entirely in federal court or (b) in both courts, with the federal court adjudicating the federal issue (a very messy way to handle a case, or (c) proceed in state court, depriving the defendant of the invalidity defense entirely. Were Congress to authorize the first alternative, it might swamp the federal courts and would undermine the well-pleaded-complaint rule, Chapter IV, § III.B, at 98; the mere presence of federal law as a defense would have to be enough to have the case heard in federal court. The second alternative is unworkable. The third might have a rationale: the...
- 5. It is clear that a state may not simply to reject federal law. In , 292 U.S. 230 (1934), Alabama courts refused to entertain a FELA claim because a state statute permitted claims against foreign corporations only based upon state law, not federal law. The Supreme Court noted: “The denial of jurisdiction by the Alabama court is based solely upon the source of the law sought to be enforced. The plaintiff is cast out because he is suing to enforce a federal act. A state may not discriminate against rights arising under federal laws.” 292 U.S. at 234. Thus, did not involve a valid excuse; it was, instead, naked discrimination against federal law, violating the Supremacy Clause.
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Table of Revenue Rulings and Procedures 55 results (showing 5 best matches)
- , providing that after a federal court has referred issues of state law to a state court under Pullman abstention and the state court has adjudicated the state law issues, a litigant has the right to return to federal court for adjudication of federal constitutional issues.
- Federal Common Law.
- The principle that the federal courts have federal-question jurisdiction only when the plaintiff’s complaint, properly drawn, establishes the presence of a controlling issue of federal law. Though the general federal question statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, makes no explicit reference to the requirement, the Supreme Court has construed the statute to impose the requirement.
- The judge-made doctrine that a federal court may stay a case involving a federal constitutional question to give the state courts the opportunity to interpret an ambiguous state law that can be construed in a manner that will render it constitutional, although unconstitutional constructions are also possible.
- , governing whether a federal court in a diversity case must apply state law to determine an issue. In , the Court held that the federal courts are bound by the constitutional limits of Congress’s power to prescribe statutory law for such suits and by the statutory limits prescribed for the courts by the Rules of Decision Act and the Rules Enabling Act.
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Chapter XII. Liquidating Distributions and Terminations 183 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 2. Chiropractic graduates sued a state medical licensing board that refused to license them under the state law for medical licensure. They sued in federal court, arguing that the state law was unconstitutional as applied. The trial court invoked abstention; it was unclear whether the state law applied to chiropractors. It stayed the federal action pending state-court litigation on the state law’s applicability.
- 9. Of course, a federal court could always simply interpret the unclear state law, but that would not be definitive. In such a situation, the federal courts consider it wise to defer to a state-court interpretation of state law. Doing so avoids federal interference with important state functions.
- majority mentioned the challenge of a federal court having to interpret state law, ) does not require uncertain state law. ’s point is that a federal court decision will involve federal courts in areas where states have sophisticated mechanisms for resolution of disputes in complex regulatory areas. Two sets of courts adjudicating such disputes might result in the courts, even if unwittingly, acting at cross-purposes.
- b. But since there was no federal challenge to the condemnation law, arguably a stay makes no sense. If there were a federal issue, abstention would be appropriate, and the parties could return to federal court for resolution of federal constitutional matters after state-court interpretation of state law. In , however, there was no federal issue for decision, and thus no need on that score for the litigants to return to federal court. On the other hand, perhaps the Court was being sensitive to the concerns underlying diversity jurisdiction, particularly because the owner was the defendant in state court.
- 3. The Supreme Court made clear that once the state court resolved the state-law issue, the plaintiff had the option to return to federal court for the adjudication of remaining federal constitutional issues.
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Chapter II. Classification 122 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 4. Because the Framers vested discretion in Congress whether to create lower federal courts, they apparently assumed that Congress could choose instead to rely on state courts as the primary adjudicators of federal law and enforcers of federal rights. The Supremacy Clause, art. VI, cl. 2, underscores the state courts’ obligation to obey and enforce federal law as “the supreme law of the land … any Thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”
- d. Story’s theory also ignores the possibility of state-court availability to determine questions of federal law, subject to Supreme Court review. Had Congress created no lower federal courts, state courts would have heard the various types of cases within the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.
- 1. By its terms, Article III vests in Congress the original decision of whether to establish lower federal courts. § II.A.1 & 2, at 59. According to generally accepted historical analysis, the Framers reached an impasse. One group believed that the Constitution should mandate lower federal courts, while the other believed the Constitution should prohibit lower federal courts and that state courts should be the only trial courts to adjudicate federal law, with appellate supervision by the Supreme Court. The “Madisonian Compromise” resolved the deadlock: the delegates left to Congress the question of whether there should be lower federal courts.
- 4. Several modern commentators have also espoused a two-tier theory regarding congressional power to control lower court jurisdiction. Justice Story initially raised this idea as an alternative to his mandatory theory. Proponents argue that some federal court—either a lower court or the Supreme Court—must be available to adjudicate cases arising under federal law, cases affecting ambassadors, and admiralty cases. These three categories deserve special treatment because they are the only categories of cases listed in art. III, § 2, cl. 1, preceded by the word “all.” Thus, all cases falling within these three heads of jurisdiction must be tried by some federal court. Little if any historical evidence demonstrates that the Framers considered such an option.
- 1. Several commentators have argued that Congress may not make exceptions to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction that will destroy the Court’s essential role in the constitutional plan. They propose that providing a uniform interpretation of federal law and policing state court interpretation and enforcement of federal law are essential functions. They note that the congressional restriction upheld did not completely prevent the Supreme Court from hearing habeas corpus cases as original matters. Thus, the statute did not totally block access to the Supreme Court in a case involving supremacy.
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Chapter V. Partnership Allocations: § 704(b) 85 results (showing 5 best matches)
- c. Just as federal courts determine cases arising under state law in diversity cases, Chapter V, at 107, so concurrent jurisdiction of federal-question cases allows state courts to gain expertise in federal law. This may keep both sets of courts from becoming overly specialized.
- a. Chief Justice Marshall’s opinion held that when any issue of federal law “might form an ingredient” in the case, the case “arise[s] under” federal law for purposes of Article III. This allows a federal court to decide all issues of law involved, even if the federal issue never actually appears in the case—as long as a federal issue might enter the dispute.
- 1. “Protective jurisdiction” describes two theories to justify vesting authority in the federal courts under Article III’s “arising under” provision to hear cases involving solely issues of state law. Both theories threaten the assumption of parity of federal and state courts to decide questions of federal law.
- Federal-question jurisdiction (sometimes called arising-under jurisdiction) is a staple of the federal court docket. Unlike diversity jurisdiction, Chapter V, § I, at 108, there is no controversy about whether the federal courts should have federal-question jurisdiction; everyone seems to agree that determining cases that arise under federal law is an appropriate task for the federal judiciary. Although there are many specialized federal statutes granting jurisdiction for narrow categories of cases, the focus here is on the general federal-question jurisdiction statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, which grants jurisdiction over cases arising under any federal law and has no amount-in-controversy requirement.
- b. Arguably, the Court erred by not making such a distinction. The counterclaiming defendant acts as a plaintiff, asserting a claim for affirmative relief that does arise under federal law. If the counterclaim arises from the same transaction or occurrence as the plaintiff’s claim, making it compulsory under FED. R. CIV. P. 13(a), that appears to deprive the defendant of the federal forum to which it otherwise might be entitled. However, if the plaintiff’s claim really is federal, then the court will dismiss the case, leaving the defendant free to invoke federal-question jurisdiction as a plaintiff (and the former plaintiff to plead his original claim as a compulsory counterclaim, invoking the court’s supplemental jurisdiction. Chapter VI, at 127). If the plaintiff’s claim is federal, the federal court will hear the counterclaim.
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Chapter XIII. Death of a Partner 149 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 4. 42 U.S.C. § 1988(a) provides that when a civil rights statute is “deficient in the provisions necessary to furnish suitable remedies,” the federal courts are to apply “the common law, as modified and changed by the constitution and statutes of the State wherein the court having jurisdiction … is held,” at least so long as such law is not “inconsistent” with federal law. The Supreme Court has found § 1983 “deficient” in several particulars, as to which federal courts will apply state law.
- 1. Section 1983’s express language applies only to deprivations of federal rights by persons acting under color of law. § II.A.1, at 245. A person acting under color of federal law is not a proper § 1983 defendant.
- a. With respect to subsection (2), the Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit’s order, holding that “the second subsection of § 1443 confers a privilege of removal only upon federal officers or agents and those authorized to act with or for them in affirmatively executing duties under any federal law providing for equal civil rights.” 384 U.S. at 824 (footnote omitted).
- § II.C.4, at 247, applies to § 1983 suits in federal court. It directs the court to apply “the common law, as modified and changed by the constitution and statutes of the State wherein the court is held” whenever § 1983 is “deficient.”
- c. If state law has more than one statute of limitations for personal injury cases, the federal court applies “the general or residual statute for personal injury actions” from state law.
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Appendix B. Practice Examination 26 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 1. State Court Power to Adjudicate the Patent Defense:
- The district court concluded, however, that P’s original claims did not qualify for federal subject-matter jurisdiction. But the court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the suit under federal-question jurisdiction because of the federal-question counter-claim. The court erred. held that a federal court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction simply because counterclaim arises under federal law. If the plaintiff’s claims did not qualify for federal subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss. Stated another way, federal-question jurisdiction is available only through a well-pleaded complaint, not through a counterclaim.
- Because P’s claims against X and against Y Corp. rest only upon state law, P cannot invoke federal-question jurisdiction. P can, however, proceed in federal court if the action satisfies the requirements for diversity or alienage jurisdiction.
- The state court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment, holding that because the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over patent cases, it lacked authority to rule upon the relevance of defendant’s patent as a justification for its actions. Under state law, interlocutory appeals run directly to the state supreme court. B took such an appeal to the state supreme court, which affirmed. B then sought review in the United States Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case and reversed the state courts’ conclusion that they could not consider the relevance of B’s patent.
- X’s counterclaim against P arises under state law, and thus fails to invoke federal-question jurisdiction. Federal-question jurisdiction attaches only to claims that arise under federal law. X’s counterclaim against P also fails to invoke alienage jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(2). Though it is brought by a citizen of a foreign country (X) against a citizen of a state of the United States (P), and thus satisfies that requirement for alienage, it does not satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement. For alienage jurisdiction, the claim must exceed $75,000. X’s claim does not. Thus the district court was correct insofar as it concluded that there is no basis of federal subject-matter jurisdiction over X’s counterclaim.
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Chapter VII. Partnership Liabilities 70 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Plaintiff sues in state court to enforce rights under a labor collective bargaining agreement. Federal law so dominates the area in such labor cases that federal law has supplanted state law entirely. Thus, federal law does not simply provide a defense to a state law contract action, but forms the basis for all rights under the labor contract. The defendant can remove the case.
- 1. For many years, a federal court’s jurisdiction on removal was “derivative” of the state court’s subject-matter jurisdiction. (It was a bit like the rule of property law that a grantor cannot transfer better title than he has.) Thus, if the state court had no subject-matter jurisdiction over a case ( a case within the federal courts’ exclusive subject matter jurisdiction), the case was not removable. Rather, the state court would have to dismiss, and the plaintiff would have to refile in federal court.
- a. In that case, the plaintiff’s state court complaint purported to raise only state law claims, though they tracked closely a separate federal government action under the federal antitrust laws.
- , 100 U.S. 257 (1879), upheld the constitutionality of federal-officer removal even though the state court proceeding rested entirely on state law. Because federal-officer removal does not rely upon federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, the well-pleaded-complaint rule does not apply. The possible assertion of a federal defense and the federal government’s interest in insulating its programs from attack in state court support federal-officer removal under Article III, § 2.
- 4. The well-pleaded-complaint rule, a general limitation on federal-question jurisdiction, precludes removal based upon a federal defense. Thus, many courts conclude that the plaintiff is the “master of her claim” and can avoid removal by asserting only state law causes of action and eschewing any applicable federal question claims.
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Chapter VIII. Compensating the Service Partner 124 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 6. Third, the decision of the state court must either (1) “draw[ ] in question” the validity of a treaty or federal statute ( a supremacy challenge), (2) “draw[ ] in question” the validity of a state statute as being contrary to federal law ( also a supremacy challenge), or (3) set up any title, right, privilege, or immunity claimed under federal law or of any commission held under federal law.
- Fox Films distributed movies to theater owners under a standardized agreement that included an arbitration clause. The United States Supreme Court found that the arbitration clause violated federal antitrust law. When a dispute later arose between Fox and another theater owner, Fox sued to recover under the contract to recover damages, arguing that the contract the arbitration clause was consistent with federal antitrust law. The state supreme court ruled that the clause was not severable and gave judgment to the defendant. The Supreme Court took the case on certiorari, but dismissed the writ “for want of jurisdiction,” because the question of severability was not a question of federal law. (In this pre- era, the Court characterized the issue as “general law”; today the Court would recognize it as state common law.) Thus, there was an adequate and independent non-federal ground supporting the state court’s judgment, making it unnecessary (and improper) for the Supreme Court to...
- The Supreme Court is the most visible part of the federal judiciary to the general public. Few people know of the district courts and the courts of appeals, but everyone has some sense of the Supreme Court’s work and importance. This Chapter reviews the types of cases the Supreme Court entertains and how they get there. It is no surprise, of course, that the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over cases decided by the federal courts of appeals. It is perhaps surprising that the Court can review decisions of state courts; this obviously implicates federalism concerns. As we will see, though, such review is available only on questions of federal law, in keeping with the Court’s role as the ultimate arbiter of federal law and enforcer of the Supremacy Clause. Most surprising, perhaps, are the provisions for Supreme Court original jurisdiction, a narrow class of cases in which the Supreme Court can serve as the trial court. There are important (and sometimes arcane) rules and...
- 10. The Supreme Court has occasionally encountered difficulty determining whether a state decision rests on state or federal law. If the decision rests on federal law, then the adequate-and-independent-state-ground doctrine is irrelevant, and the Supreme Court may hear the case. At one time, the Court remanded such cases to the state court for clarification of the basis for the holding. , 463 U.S. 1032 (1983), changed course, holding that when the basis for a state court’s opinion is ambiguous, “when the adequacy and independence of any possible state law ground is not clear from the face of the opinion,” the Court will presume that the state court decided the case on the basis of federal law. This presumption permits the Supreme Court to take the case, and applies whether the state law basis for decision would be substantive or procedural.
- a. Substantive state law grounds: when the state court decision rests upon both federal and non-federal grounds, the Supreme Court will not review if the non-federal ground, standing alone, would support the judgment.
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Appendix A. Answers to Review Questions 55 results (showing 5 best matches)
- To invoke federal-question jurisdiction under § 1331, the case must arise under federal law. The claim here appears in P’s well pleaded complaint—it is not an anticipated defense. The question is whether the federal ingredient in the claim is sufficiently important to invoke federal-question jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has embraced differing tests for this element. One, set forth in , is whether federal law created the cause of action. Here, however, state law created the cause of action, so the case does not invoke federal question under that test. Under , the test is whether the right to relief depends upon the construction of federal law. Arguably, that is so here, because the statute invites courts to look at what behavior constitutes a violation of federal antitrust law.
- , the Court seems to have stated a nebulous substantiality standard, indicating that federal-question jurisdiction might exist for state-created claims when some important issue of federal law exists. In the present case, only matters of state law are ultimately at stake. No federal statute is on point, since the state statute has an impact only upon commerce—an area that Congress has no constitutional power to regulate. Moreover, federal law did not create a private right of action for intrastate cases. Since interpretation of the state law can have no effect on any federal interests, there is no justification for invoking federal court power. This is so even though the state has chosen to incorporate the federal standard by reference.
- , which, though criticized, is still good law. Note, however, that while federal common law always applies in those cases, today the Supreme Court will often choose to adopt state law as the federal common-law standard.
- The starting point is the general rule that the defendant can remove a case to federal court if the case qualifies for federal subject-matter jurisdiction. Chapter VII, § III.B, at 144. This case fails to invoke any basis of federal subject-matter jurisdiction, however, and therefore is not removable. It does not invoke diversity jurisdiction because P and D are citizens of State A. Chapter V, § III.A, at 112. It does not invoke federal-question jurisdiction because P’s claim does not arise under federal law. The federal issue appears in the complaint only by P’s anticipation of a federal defense. Under the well-pleaded-complaint rule, the case does not arise under federal law and does get federal-question jurisdiction.
- , the state has established a complex network of administrative and judicial review. On the other hand, a federal court could decide that should be limited to truly complex matters of state law, and not apply to cases in which the central issue is a matter of federal constitutional law.
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Chapter V. Partnership Allocations: § 704(b) Part 2 83 results (showing 5 best matches)
- a. As a matter of history, the original Judiciary Act granted jurisdiction to federal courts over cases “at common law or in equity.” Because ecclesiastical courts historically heard domestic relations cases, which were neither law nor equity cases, the statutory grant of federal jurisdiction did not include such disputes. The fact that more recent jurisdictional statutes do not use the phrase “at common law or in equity” is irrelevant. Any change to require federal courts to hear domestic-relations cases will have to come from Congress.
- 6. Defenders of diversity jurisdiction respond that fear of regional bias is still a problem. Moreover, they note that diversity jurisdiction gives the federal bench additional opportunity to decide traditional common law disputes, and thus to avoid becoming specialized tribunals dealing exclusively with federal statutes and constitutional provisions. (Supplemental jurisdiction creates similar opportunities, and it is quite common for state-law issues to arise in what clearly are federal-question cases.) In addition, defenders praise the symbiosis that may evolve when federal courts must interpret state substantive law; federal input benefit development of state law.
- Diversity (more cumbersomely known as diversity-of-citizenship) and alienage cases are two more types of disputes that federal courts may hear. They have been part of congressional grants of jurisdiction since the Judiciary Act of 1789. Diversity cases are between citizens of different states of the United States. Alienage cases are between a citizen of a state of the United States and a citizen or subject of a foreign country. Either type of case must also satisfy a jurisdictional-amount requirement by having an amount in controversy $75,000. Alienage jurisdiction accounts for little of the federal docket and has never been controversial. Diversity jurisdiction accounts for about twenty percent of the federal trial court docket and has always been controversial. The debate about the wisdom of having federal courts decide cases governed by state law, as they do in diversity cases, has never abated.
- b. The federal district court draws its jury from the entire federal district Congress has defined, which may include numerous counties. A state court draws its jury from a smaller geographic area, usually a single county. The federal jury might harbor less local bias than a group drawn from a more localized area.
- 3. Absent a liquidated-damages clause or a state-law ceiling, courts only occasionally invoke the test to deny jurisdiction. Doing so is proper only if the court concludes that it would vacate a jury award in excess of $75,000 as unreasonable on the basis of the available evidence and then order a new trial under FED. R. CIV. P. 59(a). Then it is clear to a legal certainty that the jurisdictional amount is lacking. Such cases are rare, however, and involve claims that on their face seem shockingly exaggerated.
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Chapter XIV. Partnership Anti-Abuse Rule 117 results (showing 5 best matches)
- appears to increase the number of cases in which federal courts will find a procedural bar to habeas relief, because it permits federal courts to proceed only if the state court opinion appears to rest on federal law or be interwoven with it.
- presumption applies only when “the decision of the last state court to which the petitioner presented his federal claims … fairly appears to rest primarily on federal law or to be interwoven with federal law.”
- The writ of habeas corpus permits a federal court to inquire into the legality of detention of someone in government custody and to order release if appropriate. (Traditionally, granting the writ merely launched the judicial inquiry; the court might end up either granting or denying release. In modern parlance, “granting the writ” has—colloquially at least—come to mean granting relief to the prisoner.) Release is appropriate only if the prisoner’s custody violates federal law, usually the Constitution. The prisoner (“petitioner”) usually alleges that her conviction and incarceration violated some constitutional right. A federal court order releasing a state prisoner raises significant federalism and comity concerns. Some commentators consider it the greatest source of friction between the federal courts and the states. In the last several decades, both Congress and the Supreme Court have restricted habeas corpus relief. In 1996, Congress imposed notable restrictions. That... ...court...
- 5. These phrases did not provide clear guidance for lower federal courts, leading Congress in 1966 to codify when a federal court hearing a habeas case can review state-court determinations of fact. The result, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), is that the federal court must presume state findings are correct unless one of the following conditions exists:
- 4. Congress expanded habeas corpus in federal courts in 1867 by authorizing issuance “in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the constitution, or of any treaty or law of the United States.”
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Chapter XI. Operating Distributions 70 results (showing 5 best matches)
- b. Federal judicial review of state-court interpretations of federal law happens only on direct review by the United States Supreme Court, rather than through the disruptive device of a lower federal court injunction affecting state proceedings.
- This Chapter considers whether federal courts may enjoin parties from litigating in another court. The central focus is the Anti-Injunction Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2283, which sharply limits a federal court’s power to enjoin state-court proceedings. The statute reflects an important federalism concern and respect by the federal judiciary for state judiciaries. The statute contains three narrow exceptions. In addition, there are other statutory limitations on federal injunctions against state actions and when a federal court can enjoin another federal court’s proceedings. The latter situation implicates no federalism concerns, because no state court is involved. Finally, there is one circumstance in which a state court can enjoin parties from litigating in a federal court.
- 2. There has been much debate over the motivations for the 1793 Act. Perhaps Congress intended the Act to curb federal courts’ equity jurisdiction, reflecting law’s general preference for relief at law rather than in equity. Over time, however, the Act has come to be an important centerpiece in federalism, “to prevent needless friction between federal and state courts.”
- a. For most of its history, the Act was absolute in its prohibition on federal-court power to enjoin pending state proceedings. However, over the years, the courts recognized various common-law exceptions.
- 4. Although the Act’s words limit only the federal courts’ authority to “enjoin, suspend, or restrain” assessment or collection of state taxes, the Act “also prohibits a district court from issuing a declaratory judgment holding state tax laws unconstitutional.”
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Chapter I. Introduction 103 results (showing 5 best matches)
- 1. Article III applies to the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Thus, the Article-III standing requirements apply to matters that Court adjudicates, even when they may involve only reviewing state-court decisions involving federal law.
- The Court has not always been consistent. A labor union challenged the constitutionality of a federal statute declaring specified political activities of federal employees to be unlawful. The plaintiffs had not violated the law and did not face charges. The Supreme Court held that the case was not ripe, because it was purely speculative whether any harm would result to plaintiffs. , 330 U.S. 75 (1947). The problem with the Court’s holding, of course, is that the only alternative means to challenge the law would be to risk criminal penalties by violating it and, as an ethical matter, no attorney can advise a client to violate the law.
- a. Commentators have criticized this limitation as potentially shielding government action that blatantly violates constitutional rights of a large number of people. In application, however, the Supreme Court seems to be saying only that this limitation closes federal courts to the general complaint of a citizen who sues to ensure that the federal government acts in compliance with the law. The Court has made it clear that one who meets the constitutional requirements for standing will not lack standing simply because she shares that harm with many others.
- 1. Article III, § 2, extends the federal courts’ judicial power to enumerateed types of cases and controversies. Thus, the federal courts may not issue opinions simply giving advice to the other branches of the federal government. The judicial power exists only to decide actual disputes; the courts’ job is to decide cases, not to make general decrees about the propriety of government action.
- , 504 U.S. 555 (1992), challenged a federal regulation providing that ESA did not apply to federal activities outside the United States. The plaintiffs lacked standing under ESA. “To permit Congress to convert the undifferentiated public interest in executive officers’ compliance with the law into an ‘individual’ right vindicable in the courts is to permit Congress to transfer from the President to the courts the Chief Executive’s most important constitutional duty, to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
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Chapter X. Sales and Exchanges of Partnership Interests 92 results (showing 5 best matches)
- b. Second, it now is clear that the state action must violate federal law. Often, the federal law will be the Constitution, but a federal statute is sufficient. The point is that is not a vehicle for challenging violations of state law. , 465 U.S. 89 (1984) (Eleventh Amendment barred federal court from ordering state officials to conform their conduct to state law). makes clear that the Court has adopted ’s supremacy-stripping theory. Justice Stevens vigorously dissented, arguing that an act violating the sovereign’s (the state’s) law, cannot be the sovereign’s act for Eleventh-Amendment purposes.
- 5. Federal law determines whether a political entity is part of the state for Eleventh-Amendment purposes. Though the federal court will consider whether the state views the entity as an arm of the state, state law does not bind it.
- 2. Also, because the Amendment speaks only of the federal judicial power, it does not in terms forbid suits sounding in federal law against a state in state court. However, , 527 U.S. 706 (1998), recognized a state constitutional immunity to private actions in state courts based on at least some federal law Congress enacted using its Article-I, §-8, powers.
- d. Fourth, the Court has recently narrowed by holding that it is not available if federal law provides such intricate remedies that it is clear that Congress did not intend to allow cases. In other words, if federal law sets up its own remedial scheme for violation of the federal law, the court may conclude that Congress intended to foreclose using
- e. Thus, federal courts may grant prospective injunctive and declaratory relief in cases brought under , including injunctions requiring expenditure of state funds to comply with federal law, so long as the order is prospective.
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Perspective 7 results (showing 5 best matches)
- We have used some editing conventions to avoid cluttering up the text with detail unrelated to the purpose of a Black Letter. We do not include the subsequent history of cases when it is unrelated to the principle of Federal Courts that the case articulates. Accordingly, if the Supreme Court overrules a case “on other grounds,” that subsequent history does not appear in this volume. Therefore, you cannot take the citations here to be complete Bluebook explications of the courts’ treatment of the cases as wholes. References to articles, sections, and clauses of the United States Constitution appear without the words “of the Constitution,” to save space. We refer to diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction simply as diversity jurisdiction. We try to avoid cumbersome phrases such as “defendant or defendants” and references such as “defendant(s).” Unless otherwise indicated, a general noun may refer to singular or plural entities, according to the context.
- The study of federal courts includes consideration of the internal structure and operation of the federal judiciary, its relationship to the other branches of the federal government (separation of powers principles) and its interaction with the judicial and political segments of the state governments (federalism principles). The subject constitutes a unique blend of highly technical and detailed statutory analysis and the study of broad theoretical issues of federalism and separation of powers. It is this combination of very different modes of thought—of detail and of “big picture”—that makes the study of federal courts so interesting.
- To gain the most from the course, the student should recognize the importance of both the intricate detail and the broad themes, and not emphasize one over the other. For example, the student must be able simultaneously to comprehend the highly theoretical issues surrounding the controversy over congressional power to regulate the jurisdiction of the federal courts and the technicalities of removal. Whatever area of the course is being studied, however, the student should always attempt to relate the practical legal doctrines to the policies behind the development of the federal judiciary and its role as part of a dynamic federal system, in which the often competing interests of state and federal governments must be reconciled.
- APPROACH TO FEDERAL COURTS
- In deciding how to prepare for an examination in federal courts, a great deal may depend on whether the test will include short answers, or instead will consist exclusively of essay questions. If the examination contains numerous short answer questions, it is likely that the professor is interested in the students’ knowledge and understanding of specific legal doctrines and statutory structure. A student preparing for such an examination should emphasize the details of the various jurisdictional statutes and judge-made principles, and should consider closely the specific elements of each. If the examination is open-book, perhaps less emphasis will have to be placed on rote memorization. Given the limited time generally available during an examination, however, a student should not to rely too heavily on access to any book.
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Chapter III. Formation of a Partnership 99 results (showing 5 best matches)
- (4) A statute similar to proposal 3, except that in addition the law would create a new federal legislative court finally to adjudicate all such cases in lieu of existing federal or state courts.
- 3. Originally, the Supreme Court held that the Court of Claims and the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals were legislative courts. The Court overturned that in 1962, concluding that both were Article-III courts. at 72. Subsequently, Congress replaced those courts with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and a trial forum known as the United States Court of Federal Claims. They are Article-III courts.
- a. Of these, note that only state-court judges are immune from political retaliation by a branch of the federal government. While state-court judges certainly lack Article-III tenure protection, neither Congress nor the executive branch of the federal government may reduce their pay or remove them from office. That is not so with territorial and military courts.
- , courts independent of the political branches of the federal government, whether Article-III courts or state courts (whose judges’ salary and tenure are not subject to federal regulation), must decide such constitutional issues.
- 10. In addition to upholding the local-court ruling, cited three situations in which Congress had properly vested non-Article-III courts with Article-III power: (1) territorial courts, (2) military courts, and (3) state courts (by making some grants of federal-court jurisdiction concurrent). , of course, adds the District of Columbia local courts to that list.
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Title Page 7 results (showing 5 best matches)
Table of Contents 92 results (showing 5 best matches)
- B. The Original Approach to Common Law in the Federal Courts: Swift v. Tyson, 41 U.S. (16 Pet.) 1 (1842)
- A. Techniques Courts Use to Create Federal Common Law
- II. The Difference Between Federal Common Law and Federal General Common Law
- PART ONE: FEDERAL COURTS AND POLITICAL BRANCHES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- C. State-Courts’ Obligation to Employ Federal Procedures in Adjudicating Federal Claims
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Summary of Contents 36 results (showing 5 best matches)
- II. The Difference Between Federal Common Law and Federal General Common Law
- PART ONE: FEDERAL COURTS AND THE POLITICAL BRANCHES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- II. Distinction Between Congressional Power Over the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Lower Federal Courts
- V. Deprivations Under Color of Federal Law: Bivens Claims
- Chapter XV. FEDERAL COMMON LAW
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Table of Cases 87 results (showing 5 best matches)
Advisory Board 9 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Distinguished University Professor, Frank R. Strong Chair in LawMichael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
- Professor of Law Emeritus, University of San Diego Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan
- Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Professor of Law, Pepperdine University Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles
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Index 8 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 21, 252, 263, 303-307, 331, 332
- D’Oench, Duhme & Co. v. Federal Deposit Ins. Corporation, 295
- Federal Election Com’n v. Akins, 38, 43
- Federal Radio Commission v. General Electric Co., 72
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 179, 180
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- Publication Date: February 10th, 2017
- ISBN: 9781634607704
- Subject: Federal Courts
- Series: Black Letter Outlines
- Type: Outlines
- Description: Black Letter Outlines are designed to help a law student recognize and understand the basic principles and issues of law covered in a law school course. Black Letter Outlines can be used both as a study aid when preparing for classes and as a review of the subject matter when studying for an examination. Each Black Letter Outline is written by experienced law school professors who are recognized national authorities in their subject area.