Continuing the Erie Debate: A Response to Westen and Lehman

Although the Supreme Court has not spoken in detail on the Erie doctrine since its much-discussed decision in Hanna v. Plumer in 1965, commentary on the doctrine in the literature has undergone something of a “boomlet” in the last several years. Much of it has been stimulated by the groundbreaking article by Professor John Hart Ely in 1974. The latest contribution to the area is the recent article by Professor Peter Westen and Mr. Jeffrey Lehman appearing earlier this year in this journal. Unfortunately, their article does little to advance analysis of the Erie question, and contains numerous fundamental misstatements and misconceptions about the nature of the Erie inquiry.