Call for Papers: Erie at Eighty—Choice of Law Across the Disciplines



Event Date: 

09/13/18 to 09/14/18

Location name: 

University of Akron School of Law


Center for Constitutional Law

The Center for Constitutional Law seeks proposals from those interested in presenting papers at the upcoming conference. Committed presenters to date include: Shubha Ghosh (Syracuse), Craig Green (Temple), Rachel Janutis (Capital), Megan LaBelle (Catholic), Laura Little (Temple), Joe Miller (Georgia), Michael Morley (FSU), Alex Reinert (Cardozo), Kermit Roosevelt (Penn), Jeff Renesberger (South Texas), and Sharon Sandeen (Mitchell-Hamline). Additional presenters will be selected by this call for papers.
Center for Constitutional Law. The conference is scheduled for September 13 and 14, 2018, in conjunction with Constitution Day, and will be held at the University of Akron School of Law’s new state-of-the-art facility. The Center is one of four national centers established by Congress on the bicentennial of the Constitution to support legal research and public education on constitutional law. More information about the Center is available here: Follow us on Twitter @conlawcenter.

Conference Focus. The topic of the conference is the eightieth anniversary of Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (1938), where the Supreme Court cast significant doubt on federal courts’ authority to make law absent express authorization. This conference will bring together scholars from a range of legal disciplines in order to engage in a day of intensive scholarly discussion about the implications of Erie on choice of law issues that arise within specific fields. The cross-disciplinary focus stems from a sense that Erie’s impact on fields of law has been underexplored, and that Erie problems can be better understood and assessed with concrete examples in hand. To this end, we are seeking submissions not only from civil procedure scholars, but also scholars working in the fields of remedies, evidence, international law, and intellectual property.

Possible subject areas include, but are not limited to: the Erie decision’s impact on a particular field of law; federal courts’ authority to create federal common law within a particular field; critical questioning of the legitimacy of the Erie doctrine itself; determining the substance of a particular type of state law in diversity or federal question cases; state courts’ obligation to apply federal law when federal claims are brought in state court (so-called “reverse Erie”); other field-specific issues relating to preemption, federalism, and the broader relationship between state and federal law.

Proposals. Proposals including an abstract and CV should be submitted to Professor Tracy Thomas at by March 1, 2018. Papers will be published in the Akron Law Review in a special symposium issue. Shorter essays or remarks may also be published in the online companion journal, ConLawNOW.

Conference Committee:
Tracy Thomas
Bernadette Bollas Genetin
Camilla Hrdy