In order to deter parallel state and federal suits involving the same parties and issues in declaratory judgment actions, the Brillhart doctrine requires a balancing test to determine the propriety of exercising federal jurisdictions to grant relief. In Continental Casualty Co. v. Robsac Industries, decided in 1991, the Ninth Circuit held that federal district courts should generally decline to exercise jurisdiction in insurance coverage and other suits brought under the Federal Declaratory Judgments Act. This replaced the balancing test with a general rule favoring federal court abstention. This Casenote examines the Robsac decision in light of abstention doctrine history and previous Ninth Circuit decisions. The author concludes that it is unclear whether Robsac's new standard will in fact deter federal courts from exercising their congressionally conferred jurisdiction.
Gia L. Honnen,
Continental Casualty Co. v. Robsac Industries: Federal Declaratory Judgment Actions and Parallel State Proceedings--A Fifth Branch of Abstention,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol29/iss2/7