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Moore's Federal Practice - Civil
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

17A-120 Moore's Federal Practice - Civil 120.syn


State & Federal Courts, Dual State and Federal Judicial Structure


Linda S. Mullenix;Rita ; and Morris Atlas

Chapter Summary


This chapter of Moore's Federal Practice delineates the structure and consequences of the dual federal and state judiciary systems. It sets forth the respective subject-matter jurisdiction of federal and state courts, focusing on areas of concurrent, exclusive, or conflicting jurisdiction. In particular, this chapter highlights one consequence of the dual court system: parties simultaneously pursuing concurrent federal and state litigation. It discusses both the ability of parties to initiate and pursue duplicative litigation, and the steps, and limitations on steps that may be taken by other parties and the courts to stay, enjoin, or dismiss these parallel proceedings.

Along with parallel litigation, this chapter discusses how the dual court system relates to state sovereignty, intersystem comity, and the ability of each judicial system to function free from intrusions from sister courts. The dual court system, in its concurrent jurisdiction, permits federal courts to adjudicate state-law claims, and state courts to adjudicate federal claims. This overlapping and concurrent jurisdiction engenders complex issues relating to what body of legal principles each system must apply to resolve litigation. Furthermore, both state and federal courts have developed independent bodies of substantive law and procedural rules. Therefore, this chapter discusses issues that raise the specter of intersystem rivalry over the relative competencies of the federal and state courts to resolve certain substantive issues, and choice of law issues when federal court cases involve state law claims and state court cases include federal claims.

Moore's Federal Practice (Matthew Bender) is the leading source of analysis of federal court practice and procedure and has been repeatedly relied upon by federal courts around the country. It has comprehensive and authoritative analysis on federal civil, criminal, appellate, and admiralty procedure, along with the full text of the federal rules and extensive commentary and analysis of the rules and cases interpreting the rules.


Federal court,federal court practice,federal judicial structure,dual state and federal judicial,subject matter jurisdiction,concurrent jurisdiction,exclusive jurisdiction,conflicting jurisdiction,state court jurisdiction,dual court system,parallel litigation,comity,duplicative litigation


For an examination of the possible use of injunctive power to stay, enjoin, or dismiss duplicative proceedings, focusing on federal statutory restraints of state court proceedings, see Ch. 121, Anti-Injunction Acts.

For a discussion of the federal courts' authority to decline to exercise their own valid jurisdiction in deference to pending state court proceedings, see Ch. 122, Abstention Doctrines.

For more information on the constitutional restrictions on federal courts' jurisdiction of suits against states, see Ch. 123, Access to Courts: Eleventh Amendment and State Sovereign Immunity.

For an analysis of choice-of-law problems inherent in a dual court system, see Ch. 124, The Erie Doctrine and Applicable Law.

For a discussion of the exclusive original jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court, see Ch. 402, Original Jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

For more information on the concurrent jurisdiction of lower federal courts, see Ch. 104, Other Subject Matter Jurisdiction Statutes.


For more information on the dual court system of the United States, see Federal Litigation Guide, Ch. 3, Law Applied (Matthew Bender).

For detailed analysis and case law on federal evidence, see Weinstein's Federal Evidence (Matthew Bender).

For discussion and strategic tips on federal civil cases, see Moore's AnswerGuide: Federal Civil Motion Practice (Matthew Bender) and Moore's AnswerGuide: Federal Pretrial Civil Litigation (Matthew Bender).
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