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Whether a person is 'indispensable,' that is, whether a particular lawsuit must be dismissed in the absence of that person, can only be determined in the context of particular litigation. As the Court has before remarked, '[t]here is no prescribed formula for determining in every case whether a person . . . is an indispensable party. . . .' Niles-Bement Co. v. Iron Moulders Union, 254 U. S. 77, at 254 U. S. 80. There is a large category, whose limits are not presently in question, of persons who, in the Rule's terminology, should be 'joined if feasible,' and who, in the older terminology, were called either necessary or indispensable parties. Assuming the existence of a person who should be joined if feasible, the only further question arises when joinder is not possible and the court must decide whether to dismiss or to proceed without him. To use the familiar but confusing terminology, the decision to proceed is a decision that the absent person is merely 'necessary,' while the decision to dismiss is a decision that he is 'indispensable.' The Committee Note puts the matter as follows: 'The subdivision [19(b)] uses the word 'indispensable' only in a conclusory ...

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