Issue Preclusion

Issue Preclusion - Issue Preclusion(Collateral Estoppel...

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Issue Preclusion (Collateral Estoppel) Collateral estoppel dissects a suit into its various issues and removes from consideration any that have been properly decided in a prior action. This doctrine is necessary b/c issues already litigated may come up again in later litigation based on separate events. (a) The Prerequisites: o (1) The issue in the 2 nd case must be the same as the issue in the 1 st case o (2) The issue must have been actually litigated o (3) The issue must have been actually decided o (4) The decision on the issue must have been necessary to the court’s judgment in the first case This comes into play when a court finds for a litigant on two independent, sufficient grounds. Approaches: The Restatement deny the use of collateral estoppel to both independent grounds since we can’t know which was necessary to the decision. Alternative #1 give collateral estoppel effect to both alternative determinations (Restatement Approach) Alternative #2 a flexible middle-ground where the court will examine the structure of the holding on a case by case basis to determine if collateral estoppel is proper. (b) Nonmutual Estoppel: o Allows a new party to invoke collateral estoppel against a party who litigated and lost on an issue in a prior action. The rationale – the party against whom estoppel is asserted had been a party to the first action and had a full and fair opportunity to litigate there. o This is a form of collateral estoppel, so all the prerequisites must be me. If they are the analysis progresses depending on what type it is. o Defensive Nonmutual Estoppel: Occurs when a party asserts estoppel “defensively,” to prevent the opposing party from proving an essential element of their claim. Typically, a D will use the doctrine to prevent a P from asserting a claim that has been previously litigated, and which the P lost on. Suit 1: P --------------> D1 (P loses on issue A) Suit 2: P --------------> D2 (new D pleads CE to prevent P from relitigating claim A) o Offensive Nonmutual Estoppel: The court in Park Lane established that the use of ONmCE was valid Usually involves a new P who seeks to borrow a finding from a prior action to impose liability on a party who was a D in a prior action. Suit 1: P1 ------------->D (D loses on issue A) Suit 2: P2 ------------->D (new P invokes CE to establish issue A in her suit against D) The concerns which arise in this doctrine:
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(1) encourages “hold back” plaintiffs (2) the D may not have aggressively litigated the first time (3) procedural rules may have been different the first time (4) gives the P a huge settlement advantage in the first suit As a result of these concerns, the court held that lower courts should exercise discretion in deciding whether or not to allow ONmCE. The court must consider all the circumstances and be convinced that the issue
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Issue Preclusion - Issue Preclusion(Collateral Estoppel...

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