I wrote last month about the Texas Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kerlin v. Sauceda about the Texas tolling statute. That post noted the interaction between the Texas case and a pending Fifth Circuit case (Cadles of Grassy Meadows II, L.L.C. v. Goldner, No. 07-10711) in which the federal court had ruled that the Texas statute was unconstitutional.

Today, the Fifth Circuit granted the State’s motion for rehearing in that federal case and remanded to the trial court for it to interpret and apply Kerlin. This outcome should prevent a serious discrepancy between how this critical statute is applied in federal and state court.

The Fifth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court were able to resolve this discrepancy so quickly because each happened to have a pending case about the same issue. Normally, it takes months or years for this sort of Erie problem to work its way through the courts. But because these litigants (and the courts) were on the ball, this one took only weeks.