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Jurisdictional Considerations-Different Federal Courts

A litigant should not litigate the same issue at the same time in more than one federal court[i].  In Crowley Cutlery Co. v. United States [ii], the court held “the question whether a litigant should be able to litigate the same issue at the same time in more than one federal court is an easy one–he should not be.”  In New England Mach., Inc. v. Conagra Pet Prods. Co.,[iii] the court held that a district court may dismiss, transfer, or stay an action so that the issues presented can be resolved first in an earlier filed action pending in another district court.  Also a district court may dismiss a claim that is duplicative of another in a different federal court.  Generally courts recognize that the first-filed rule should not be mechanically applied and some consideration should be given to factors and circumstances that may affect the competing forums.[iv]

[i] Mellon Bank, N.A. v. IBJ Schroder Bank & Trust Co., 1989 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16517 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 17, 1989)

[ii] 849 F.2d 273 (7th Cir. Ill. 1988)

[iii] 827 F. Supp. 732 (M.D. Fla. 1993)

[iv] Fleetman, Inc. v. Fleet Fuel Sales, Inc., 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16111 (E.D. La. Oct. 13, 1999)

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