Note: There are restrictions on the retroactive application of the new substantive law (as a law or court). An Act that regulates the original rights and obligations of the individual. Substantive law may be derived from the common law, statutes or a constitution. For example, a claim for breach of contract, negligence or fraud would constitute a substantive common law right. A state or federal law that gives an employee the right to sue for discrimination in the workplace would also create a substantive right. In addition, Sibbach v. Wilson (1941) illustrates how the courts might consider whether a law is substantial. There, the U.S. Supreme Court, in ruling that ordering a party to undergo a medical examination was a procedural matter and not a substantive one, emphasized that there is no such substantive right in the common law and that no such right affects the issue. Substantive law is juxtaposed with procedural law. However, the distinction is not always clear. Federal courts have struggled to determine whether a law is substantive or procedural, as this issue often determines whether state or federal law applies in cases of diversity jurisdiction under the Erie Doctrine (which requires federal courts to apply state laws to matters of substantive law). To determine whether a law is substantial, federal courts can consider whether the law has the potential to determine the outcome of the dispute.
For example, in Guaranty Trust Co.c. York, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether failure to comply with a state statute of limitations would significantly alter the outcome of a dispute and ruled that limitation periods are substantive law. In particular, the Court noted that “the outcome of the dispute before the Federal Supreme Court should be essentially the same. what it would be if she were tried by a state court. Subsequent courts refined this analysis and focused on whether the application of federal procedural law to a question would determine the outcome given its potential impact on forum shopping and the unjust administration of laws – that is, the objectives of the Erie doctrine. In Hanna v. Plumer, the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that the federal service rules outweighed the state`s requirement of manual service for the nature of the claim, since the federal rule in question was arguably procedural and the federal service rule would not have affected the choice of ex ante judicial evaluation forum. “Substantive Right” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/legal/substantive%20law.
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