United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
ROY WILSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is the Southern Farm Bureau Defendants' Motion to Certify
Question of Law to the Arkansas Supreme Court (Doc. No. 116).
Plaintiff has responded, and the Southern Farm Bureau
Defendants have replied. For the reasons set out below, the
Motion to Certify is DENIED.
appeal, the Eighth Circuit concluded that an Arkansas
choice-of-law analysis would favor the application of
Tennessee law to the lien impairment claim and remanded for
further proceedings in light of its
determination. Now, Farm Bureau Defendants ask that the
choice-of-law question be certified to the Supreme Court of
issue of whether a question of law will be certified to a
state court falls within the sound discretion of the federal
district court. In general, the district court has a duty
to address aspects of state law even though that area of the
law is still unsettled. A district court should not avoid its
duty of determining the issues before it unless it is a close
question and there are few state sources to enable a
nonconjectural determination. Furthermore, “[o]nce a
question is submitted for decision in the district court, the
parties should be bound by the outcome unless other grounds
for reversal are present.” Once a case has been
decided, certification can be granted only in limited
Plaintiff has pointed out,  the choice-of-law question was
addressed both by this Court and the Eighth Circuit before
Southern Farm Bureau Defendants sought certification. To
grant certification of the question after the Eighth
Circuit's determination would be like a “second
chance at victory.” Though in limited
circumstances certification can be granted after an adverse
judgment, the choice-of-law question itself was not a
particularly close one for the Eighth Circuit. The Farm
Bureau Defendants rely on the Eighth Circuit expressing some
uncertainty in how the Arkansas Supreme Court would apply one
of the Leflar factors in its choice-of-law analysis,
but the Eighth Circuit already considered that this
particular factor could favor the application of Arkansas law
and decided that the other Leflar factors would
favor the application of Tennessee law
regardless. Certifying this question then would not
likely change the outcome of the choice-of-law analysis.
reasons set out above, the Motion to Certify is DENIED.
 Doc. Nos. 119, 120.
Shelby Cty. Health Care Corp. v.
S. Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co., 855 F.3d 836, 844 (8th