Irrepressible Influence of Byrd, The

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Freer, Richard D.
Arthur, Thomas C.
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2011
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Journal Article
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INTRODUCTION|Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Erie doctrine. The case was decided in 1958 and has never gotten its due. In Hanna v. Plumer it was relegated to a perfunctory citation without discussion. Worse, Hanna provided an alternative analysis - the "modified outcome" or "twin aims of Erie" test - to which the Supreme Court of the United States appears devoted. By contrast, the Court has discussed Byrd only once. That discussion, in Gasperini v. Center for Humanities, Inc., by the lights of many, was confused and confusing, and did not leave Byrd on firm footing.|Now the Supreme Court re-enters the thicket in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co. Typically, Byrd merits only a fleeting citation in the concurring opinion of a single justice. Nonetheless, Byrd remains the Court's most comprehensive and cogent effort in vertical choice of law, and actually explains the results in cases in which the Court did not cite it. Indeed, at the end of the day, though it gets no respect, the stamp of Byrd is clear. Each of the three opinions in Shady Grove reflects its influence, if not its command...
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44 Creighton L. Rev. 61 (2010-2011)
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Creighton University School of Law
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