Issue Preclusion (collateral estoppel): Part II

  • Broader than claim preclusion because we don't require same parties, not as tightly bound to mutuality
  • Narrower than claim preclusion because we insist that issue exist in #1 and #2 AND that it was actually litigated
  • Claim preclusion prevents raising claims you COULD have raised in #1 and didn't.
    • From FRCP: The party against whom preclusion is sought could not, as a matter of law, have obtained review of the judgment in the initial action...
  • Same issue can arise in many cases that you might not have been thinking about in earlier cases, don't want fear to drive litigating to the death of EVERY issue, especially when we relax mutuality.
  • Preclusion is like "super-precedent."
    • Not applied to U.S. government, since applying issue preclusion against federal government would effectively freeze the law.
    • Think about relationship between preclusion and precedent:
      • Value stability, but want a safety valve to fix mistakes.
    • But preclusion is really stronger than precedent—safety valve of issue preclusion—binds only party that lost, not against other parties—EXCEPT when other party is a huge repeat player (like the federal government would be, if not excluded from the rule)—then no safety valve.
  • What about circuits with different results?
    • No clear answer! Probably say will give national company benefit of victory nationally.
Durfee v. Duke
  • Applies issue preclusion on issue of subject matter jurisdiction.
  • Land lying on boundary between Nebraska and Missouri after river changes course.
  • Court granted quiet title in favor of plaintiffs.
  • Defendants appeal, Nebraska Supreme Court upheld de novo.
  • In action #1, defendant #1 filed in Missouri, looking for a declaration the he owns land.
  • Defendant #2 removed to federal district court (was Plaintiff #1 in first action).
    • Is federal court bound by Nebraska judgment?
    • SCOTUS says must respect Nebraska because Nebraska courts actually litigated subject matter of their own jurisdiction, unlike Pennoyer v. Neff where defendant didn't show up and brought collateral action.
      • No 2nd bite at subject matter jurisdiction!
View most interesting 'lawschool' photos on Flickriver

Related Notes

Related Commentary