Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Erie Doctrine: Other Circuits Will Defer to Analysis of State Law by State’s Home Circuit, Unless the Latter Has Disregarded Clear Signals from the State’s Highest Court — Odd to Create Circuit Split Over State Law (Good Quote)

Sutherland v. DCC Litig. Facility, Inc. (In re Dow Corning Corp.), 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2600 (6th Cir. Feb. 20, 2015):

In resolving issues of state law, the panel looks to "the final decisions of that state's highest court, and if there is no decision directly on point, then we must make an Erie guess to determine how that court, if presented with the issue, would resolve it." Conlin v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 714 F.3d 355, 358-59 (6th Cir. 2013). We "usually defer" to our sister circuits' analyses of the law of the states within their respective borders. U.S. v. Maness, 23 F.3d 1006, 1008 (6th Cir. 1994); Curtis 1000, Inc. v. Martin, 197 F. App'x 412, 422 n.4 (6th Cir. 2006); see also Dawn Equip. Co. v. Micro-Trak Sys., Inc., 186 F.3d 981, 989 n.3 (7th Cir. 1999). Mellon Bank, N.A. v. Ternisky, 999 F.2d 791, 796 (4th Cir. 1993). Unless the home circuit has "disregarded clear signals emanating from the state's highest court pointing towards a different rule" we will avoid creating "the oddity of a split in the circuits over the correct application" of one state's law. Abex Corp. v. Maryland Cas. Co., 790 F.2d 119, 125 (D.C. Cir. 1986) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted); see also Curtis 1000, 197 F. App'x at 422 n.4 (quoting Abex, 790 F.2d at 125).


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