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Legal Memorandum: Law of the Case Doctrine

Issue: What are some cases that relate to the law of the case doctrine outside the Third Circuit?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Law of the case doctrine; Third circuit
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 872 F. Supp. 865; 854 F. Supp. 757
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 11/01/2004

Aguinaga v. United Food and Commercial Workers Intern Union, 854 F. Supp. 757 (D. Kan. 1994):  A lower court is free to decide issues not addressed on appeal, so long as the case is open for further proceedings.

Fields v. Bagley, 275 F.3d 478 (6th Cir. 2001):  The law of the case doctrine requires a trial court to apply the law as enunciated by an appellate court.  However, this is a rule of practice rather than a rule of substantive law, and is not to be applied where application would bring about an unjust result.

In Re Woods, 215 B.R. 623 (10th Cir. 1998):  Issues decided on appeal become the law of the case and are to be followed in all subsequent proceedings in same case in trial court, unless evidence on subsequent trial was substantially different, controlling authority has since made contrary decision of law applicable to such issues, or decision was clearly erroneous and would work manifest injustice.  Application of law of the case doctrine is discretionary.

Wilmer v. Board of County Com’rs of Leavenworth County, 872 F. Supp. 865 (D. Kan. 1996):  Under the rule requiring that district court comply strictly with mandate rendered by reviewing court, the district court is obligated to follow everything decided by appellate court either expressly or by necessary implication.  However, at the same time, the lower court is bound to adhere only to those issues previously determined […]