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On March 23, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P. A. v. Allstate Ins. Co. The question in this case was whether a New York state law precluded a federal district court in a diversity case from entertaining a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Court held that because Rule 23 clearly authorized a class action in this case, it governed here notwithstanding the New York law unless it exceeded the Rules Enabling Act or Congress's rulemaking power.  The Court further ruled, in a plurality opinion by Justice Scalia and a concurring opinion by Justice Stevens, that Rule 23 validly applied here.  Beyond that the Court divided in several ways over the relationship between Rule 23, the New York law, the Rules Enabling Act, and Erie v. Tompkins, with no opinion commanding a majority of the Court.

To discuss the case, we have George Mason University School of Law Professor Jonathan F. Mitchell.


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