Lessons in Diversity Jurisdiction from the First Circuit

The importance of subject-matter jurisdiction is axiomatic in federal courts. Parties must either get to federal court via a federal question or on the basis of diversity of citizenship. Given the centrality of subject-matter jurisdiction, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3) mandates that cases that lack subject-matter jurisdiction must be dismissed. Even when issues of

Dairy Farmers & a Missing Comma: O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy

A missing comma caused much consternation over the meaning of a state’s employment laws at the First Circuit recently. In a March 13, 2017 decision, the appellate court worked overtime to analyze Maine’s Wage and Hour Law and a specific statutory exemption that would apply to drivers of enumerated food products. Specifically, this exemption noted that