University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review


Coby W. Logan

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The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of the authority of federal courts to certify questions to the Arkansas Supreme Court and of some of the undeveloped legal issues surrounding the rule itself. The certification process, allowed under Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-8, is neither simple nor inexpensive, but it will most likely be less complicated and expensive than other alternatives available to a federal court and litigants involved in federal court litigation when a question of unclear Arkansas state law presents itself. Certification is treated as an appeal. Therefore, fees and costs are the same as in any other civil appeal docketed before the Arkansas Supreme Court and are equally divided between the parties unless otherwise ordered by the certifying court in its certification order.

The certification process that is now allowed under Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 6-8 (1) provides a practical and efficient method by which federal courts can discern the state laws of Arkansas when they are faced with an unclear question of Arkansas state law and (2) allows the Arkansas Supreme Court the opportunity to decide important and significant matters of Arkansas state law.

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