Emory Law Journal


Ross D. Andre


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 defines circumstances in which a court can (and must) override the plaintiff¿s party structure to ensure that so-called necessary and required parties are before the court, as complete justice requires. Sovereign immunity protects classes of sovereigns and their political arms from accountability in other nations¿ court systems. Although seemingly unrelated, conflict between these doctrines is increasingly precipitating incongruous outcomes in federal courts¿as evident in a recent Supreme Court decision¿eviscerating the goals of compulsory joinder and unreasonably enlarging the ambit of sovereignty¿s protections to shield nonsovereign parties. The failure of courts to work solutions to the Rule 19/sovereign immunity conundrum risks recreating the systemic failures of the original version of Rule 19¿foregoing the Rule¿s intended pragmatism in favor of doctrinal adherence to labels and categorizations.