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Summer 1991


The combined effect of Erie R. R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 US. 64, 82 L Ed. 1188, 58 S. Ct 817 (1938) and proliferating certification statutes is to diminish, but not eliminate, the advantage that a litigant might gain from having a federal Judge, rather than a state court, construe state law. There continue to be cases in which the opportunity for a more favorable interpretation of state law in federal court will be an important and possibly determinative factor in choosing a federal court for the resolution of claims based upon state law. The possibility of a favorable "Erie guess" will occasionally outweigh some of the other factors which are generally considered in the choice between federal and state court and, therefore, litigants should consider this factor when choosing between state and federal courts.

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