Issue preclusion is sometimes still called "res judicata." Both terms refer to issues determined in an earlier case and which a party in a later case argues should be precluded or barred from further determination. One of the standard elements of issue preclusion is that "the issue sought to be precluded must have been actually litigated in the prior action." Continental Western Insurance Co. v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2015 WL 428342, *4 (S.D. Iowa February 3, 2015). [Emphasis added.]
In the Continental Western case, the parties did not dispute that "the issues raised by Continental Western in this case were actually litigated and essential" in an earlier case. Continental Western Insurance Co. v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2015 WL 428342, *10 (S.D. Iowa February 3, 2015). The Court in this case accordingly dismissed Continental Western's complaint "on the basis of issue preclusion."
Parenthetically, the Court's ruling in this case is an example of how rulings are necessarily made in litigated cases. The fact that earlier litigation of the same issues was "undisputed" in this case illustrates once again that, perhaps due to the limitations of the adversarial system of adjudication, Judges rarely go beyond what the parties tell them before the Judges make their decisions.
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