Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Factors Militating Against Retroactive Application of Judicial Decision

Folks v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128960 (D. Colo. Sept. 11, 2012):

Footnote 3. ***

First, the decision to be applied nonretroactively must establish a new principle of law, either by overruling clear past precedent on which litigants may have relied, see e.g., Hanover Shoe, Inc. v. United Shoe Machinery Corp., supra, 392 U.S., at 496, 88 S.Ct., at 2233, or by deciding an issue of first impression whose resolution was not clearly foreshadowed, see, e.g., Allen v. State Board of Elections, supra, 393 U.S., at 572, 89 S.Ct., at 835. Second, it has been stressed that 'we must * * * weigh the merits and demerits in each case by looking to the prior history of the rule in question, its purpose and effect, and whether retrospective operation will further or retard its operation.' Linkletter v. Walker, supra, 381 U.S., at 629, 85 S.Ct., at 1738. Finally, we have weighed the inequity imposed by retroactive application, for '(w)here a decision of this Court could produce substantial inequitable results if applied retroactively, there is ample basis in our cases for avoiding the 'injustice or hardship' by a holding of nonretroactivity.' Cipriano v. City of Houma, supra, 395 U.S., at 706, 89 S.Ct., at 1900.

Chevron Oil Co. v. Huson, 404 U.S. 97, 106-07, 92 S. Ct. 349, 30 L. Ed. 2d 296 (1971).

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