Sixth Annual Constitutional Law ConferenceSignage descibing the Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins

The University of Akron School of Law hosts, ERIE AT EIGHTY: Choice of Law Across the Disciplines, sponsored by The Center for Constitutional Law and the Akron Law Review.

The topic of the Sixth Annual Constitutional Law Conference at Akron is the eightieth anniversary of Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (1938). In this iconic case, the U.S. Supreme Court cast significant doubt on the federal courts’ authority to make law absent express authorization. This conference will bring together scholars from a range of legal disciplines in order to engage in a day of intensive scholarly discussion about the implications of Erie on choice of law issues that arise within specific fields including civil procedure, remedies, evidence, and intellectual property. The cross-disciplinary focus stems from a sense that Erie’s impact on fields of law has been under explored, and that Erie problems can be better understood and assessed with concrete examples in hand.

Image of Tompkins who was part of an iconic US supreme court case.REGISTRATION

Registration Fee:

  • Free if not seeking CLE credit
  • $50 for those seeking CLE credit


CLE Credit:

  • 7.0 hours of CLE has been requested for Ohio

CLE Program Materials (pdf)



Schedule (pdf)

8 a.m.

McDowell Commons

Breakfast sponsored by the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio

Registration hosts: Student editors of Akron Law Review

8:30 a.m.

Brennan Courtroom 180

Welcome, Dean C.J. Peters

Introduction, Prof. Tracy Thomas, Director, Center for Constitutional Law

8:45 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Brennan Courtroom 180

Panel 1: Understanding Erie

Moderator: Dean C.J. Peters (Akron)

  • Prof. Brian Frye (Kentucky), The Ballad of Harry James Tompkins
  • Prof. Michael Green (William & Mary), The Erie Doctrine: A Flowchart
  • Prof. Craig Green (Temple), Erie and Constitutional Structure: An Intellectual History
  • Prof. Megan LaBelle (Catholic), An Erie Approach to Privilege Doctrine

10 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.


10:15 a.m. - noon

Brennan Courtroom 180

Panel 2: Erie and Federalism

Moderator: Prof. Bernadette Genetin (Akron)

  • Prof. Charlton Copeland (Miami), Erie’s Federalism and Ours
  • Prof. Kermit Roosevelt (Penn)
  • Prof. Jeff Rensberger (South Texas), At the Intersection of Erie and Administrative Law
  • Prof. Laura Little (Temple), Erie's Unintended Consequences on State Law
  • Prof. Alex Reinert (Cardozo), Erie Doctrine, State Law, and Civil Rights Litigation in Federal Court

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 pm

McDowell Commons

Lunch and Keynote

Prof. Ernest Young (Duke), Erie as a Way of Life

Introduction: Danielle Schantz, Editor in Chief, Akron Law Review

1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Brennan Courtroom 180

Panel 3: The Erie Effect in Remedies

Moderator: Prof. Tracy Thomas (Akron)

  • Prof. Caprice Roberts (Florida), Remedies, Equity & Erie
  • Prof. Rachel Janutis (Capital)
  • Prof. Michael Morley (Florida State)

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Brennan Courtroom 180

Panel 4: Erie in Intellectual Property

Moderator: Camilla Hrdy (Akron)

  • Prof. Joe Miller (Georgia), Our IP Federalism: Thoughts on Erie at Eighty
  • Prof. Sharon Sandeen (Mitchell-Hamline), The “Erie/Sears-Compco Squeeze” and Erie’s Other Effects on Trade Secret Law
  • Prof. Shubha Ghosh (Syracuse), Jurisdiction Stripping and the Federal Circuit: A Path for Unlocking State Law Claims from Patent

4 – 5 p.m.

Brennan Courtroom 180

Coffee with the IP Faculty

Host: Prof. Ryan Holte, Director of the Akron Center for IP Law & Technology


Tracy Thomas, Professor of law, UA center director and chair of the conference

Follow the Erie Conference proceedings on Twitter @conlawcenter and post using hashtag #Erieat80