Opinion of the Court
tice Bradley in Dupasseur v. Rochereau [which stated that the case was a diversity case, applying state law under state procedure]." Ibid.
In other words, in Dupasseur the State was allowed (indeed, required) to give a federal diversity judgment no more effect than it would accord one of its own judgments only because reference to state law was the federal rule that this Court deemed appropriate. In short, federal common law governs the claim-preclusive effect of a dismissal by a federal court sitting in diversity. See generally R. Fallon, D. Meltzer, & D. Shapiro, Hart and Wechsler's The Federal Courts and the Federal System 1473 (4th ed. 1996); Degnan, Federalized Res Judicata, 85 Yale L. J. 741 (1976).
It is left to us, then, to determine the appropriate federal rule. And despite the sea change that has occurred in the background law since Dupasseur was decided—not only repeal of the Conformity Act but also the watershed decision of this Court in Erie—we think the result decreed by Dupasseur continues to be correct for diversity cases. Since state, rather than federal, substantive law is at issue there is no need for a uniform federal rule. And indeed, nationwide uniformity in the substance of the matter is better served by having the same claim-preclusive rule (the state rule) apply whether the dismissal has been ordered by a state or a federal court. This is, it seems to us, a classic case for adopting, as the federally prescribed rule of decision, the law that would be applied by state courts in the State in which the federal diversity court sits. See Gasperini v. Center for Humanities, Inc., 518 U. S. 415, 429-431 (1996); Walker v. Armco Steel Corp., 446 U. S., at 752-753; Bernhardt v. Polygraphic Co. of America, 350 U. S. 198, 202- 205 (1956); Palmer v. Hoffman, 318 U. S. 109, 117 (1943); Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Elec. Mfg. Co., 313 U. S. 487, 496 (1941); Cities Service Oil Co. v. Dunlap, 308 U. S. 208, 212 (1939). As we have alluded to above, any other rule would produce the sort of "forum-shopping . . . and . . . inequitable ad-Page: Index Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Next
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