1. The decision in Erie purported to be derived from the U.S. Constitution. Can the same thing be said about York? Was the application of the state statute of limitations rather than the federal tolling doctrine required under the U.S. Constitution? If not, what required it?\
2. Imagine that the actions in York had been brought in state court in Pennsylvania instead. Would New York's statute of limitations have been used?
3. Imagine the New York Court of Appeals (the highest court of appeals on New York state law) had been asked about whether the New York statute of limitations must be used by the federal court in York. What do you think it would say?
4. Consider the following rule: To get into federal court you must go through a metal detector. Assume that in state court the rule is you don't. Under York, should the state rule apply in federal court in a diversity case?
5. Try to determine how Ragan, Woods, and Cohen should come out under York.
6. It seems pretty clear that in the Byrd case the state rule is outcome determinative. Why then is the federal rule used? Can the result be squared with York?
7. What is the difference between the "broader policy" in favor of uniformity with forum state law, which Brennan mentions in Byrd, and a federal court's obligation under Erie to respect the definition of state-created rights, including rules "bound up" with these rights?Questions on Hanna v. Plumer
1. How does Hanna assess Congress's power to create statutes regulating the procedure of federal courts (including federal courts sitting in diversity)? If Congress passed a statute spelling out choice-of-law rules or statutes of limitations to be used in diversity cases would it be OK for a federal court to use them?
2. How does Hanna interpret the limits in the Rules Enabling Act concerning whether a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure is valid? Can you think of an example where a Federal Rule would fail this test? Assume that the Supreme Court created (and Congress approved through inaction) Fed. R. Civ. P. 4B, which specified statutes of limitations for actions in federal court. Could these statute of limitations be applied in diversity cases? Could they be applied in federal question cases?
3. On pp. 379-81, Chief Justice Warren assesses the question faced by the court on the assumption that there was no Fed. R. Civ. P. on point (that is, on the assumption that the federal service rule was a matter of federal procedural common law). What is that test and why does it differ from the approach for federal statutes and Fed. R. Civ. P.s?
4. Could federal courts come up with common law limitations periods for diversity cases that differ from those used by the forum state?