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Flashcards in Conflict Deck (40)
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Domicile Overview

Person domiciled in a state will be subject to personal jx in that state's courts whether or not the person can be found and personally served process


Domicile of Individuals

1. Can only have ONE domicile
2. Acquired by choice or operation of law (e.g. minor)
3. presence with an intent to remain

Presence required to ESTABLISH domicile; presence need not be long, so long as there's an intent to remain

Temporary or prolonged absences don't change domicile. Person maintains domicile (even if they're no living in their domicile) so long as they intend to return and remain in domiciliary state


Change of domicile

person with capacity, physical presence and intent to make new place home


Due Process Limitations

SCOTUS held that forum state may apply its own substantive law to a particular case only if it has A SIGNIFICANT CONTACT/AGGREGATION OF CONTACTS with the issue

such that the choice of law is neither arbitrary or fundamentally unfair


Full Faith and Credit

same as due process; but forum court may refuse to apply other state's laws if violates public policy


Contract choice-of-law provision

Enforced if:
a) valid agreement with effective COL clause
b) applicable to the lawsuit under the terms of the k
c) law to be applied is from a state with connections to the parties or the k
d) doesn't violate pub. policy


Approaches to COL

1. traditional (1st restatement)
2. most-sig relationship (2nd restatement)
3. Governmental interest


Most significant Relationship (2nd Restatement) Approach

2nd Restatement applies law of the state with most significant relationship to the issue in question

Determining which state has the most significant relationship, the forum court considers 1) contacts linking each jx to the case 2) 7 policy principles set forth in the Restatement


Most significant Relationship (2nd Restatement)
7 Principles:

1) needs of the interstate or international system
-focus on judicial efficiency

2) relevant policies of the forum

3) policies of interested state

4) party expectations
(planned contracts)

5) Policies underlying substantive area of law

6) certainty, predictability, and uniformity

7) ease of future application
- how difficult would the application of the second jx be?


Gov. interest
False conflict

only 1 state interested


Gov interest
Trust Conflict

i. Forum state will review its own policies to determine which law should apply. If the conflict cannot be resolved, then the law of the forum state is applied

No conflict---> forum state


what COL rules does the federal government follow in a diversity case:

In federal diversity cases, the federal district court is generally required to apply the conflict-of-laws
rules of the state in which it sits


Traditional Approach

* Law of the place where the wrong was committed. More specifically, the place where the last event that makes the actor liable for the tort occurred.


Most significant Relationship

2nd Restatement applies law of the state with most significant relationship to the tort and the parties, along with the 7 policy principles.

In addition, courts will consider
a) place where injury took place
b) place where conduct causing injury occurred
c) place of incorporation/business of the parties
d) place where relationship of parties is centered


Governmental-interest approach

Courts examine the purpose and policies that underlie the competing states’ laws to determine whether those states are truly interested (loss-shifting vs conduct-regulating)

Under the governmental-interest approach, the forum state generally looks to its own law, so long as that state has a legitimate interest in applying its own law.

False conflict- one party interested
true conflict- both
No conflict--> forum state law rule


Traditional (vested rights approached) 1st REstatement

Either where the k was executed or where k was to be performed


Traditional (vested rights approached) 1st REstatement

Vests Where the k was executed

-validity of k
-defenses to formation of k
-interpretation of k

Vest where the k was EXECUTED


Traditional (vested rights approached) 1st REstatement

Vests where the k was to be performed

- details of performance time/place
- sufficiency of performance
- person who is obligated to perform and the receiver of the performance
- excuses for non performance


Most significant relationship approach

2nd Restatement applies law of the state with most significant relationship to the contracts and the 7 policy principles.

In addition, courts consider
a) location of contracting, negotiation and performance
b) where k's subject matter is located
c) location of parties' domiciles/place of incorporation, places of business

If place of negotiation and place of performance are same, court applies law of that state


Default Rules

Land ks--> law of situs
Personalty ks (personal property)--> law of state of place where delivery took place

UNLESS another state has more significant relationship



Tangible (UCC)

UCC governs most issues regarding sale of tangible personal property. Under UCC parties can choose the applicable law that will govern the transaction.

If parties DONT stipulate, forum state should apply its own UCC to "transactions bearing an appropriate relation to" the forum state

Secured transactions: under UCC, law governing perfection, attachment, etc, ---> state where debtor is located


Tangible (NOT UCC)

A. Traditional (vested rights) 1st restatement:
State where property was located at time of transaction at issue. Applies even when property at issue has been moved out of state w/o owner's permission

B. Most-significant relationship
Law of the situs of the personal property at time the relevant transaction took place.

However if determined that another state has a more significant relationship to transaction, that state's law will apply

C. Governmental Interest Courts examine the purpose and policies that underlie the competing states’ laws to determine whether those states are truly interested; (true, false, no conflict)


Real Property Rules

Traditional (vested rights) 1st restatement
- law of situs

Most significant relationship
-law of situs generally presumed most significant



Different property types will call for different rules and this may lead to the application of various state laws due to the type of property

Personal Property: law of deceased's domicile @ time of death

Real Property: law of situs

Will leaves jewelry, and a farm. Person died in State A, farm is located in State B. Questions regarding the validity of the decedent's will regarding the Jewlery and the transfer of the jewlery will be governed by law of State A.

However, validity of the d's will regarding the farm and the transfer of the farm governed by law of State B


Marriage in General

1. Marriage are valid where they took place and are recognized in all other state
2. Unless the marriage violates a strong public policy of the domicile (incest, bigamy)
3. A valid Common law marriage should be recognized as valid in a state that does not recognize common law marriage. Unless violates STRONG public policy of domicile of either party


Divorce and Marital Property in General

Questions of law relating to the grounds for divorce are controlled by the law of the plaintiff’s domicile in a divorce matter.

In determining the enforceability of a premarital agreement:

 Most states apply the law of the state with the most significant relationship to the matter at hand.

 Some states apply the law of the state in which the premarital agreement was executed

Divorce Judgments:
Divorce decrees from other states are entitled to full faith and credit as long as the original state had
1) jurisdiction to issue the decree and 2) the decree is valid. Decrees have proper jurisdiction if at least one person resides where the decree was issued.


If the foreign law sought to be applied is procedural

forum state's law ALWAYS governs

foreign=law from another state

-service of process
-rules of discovery
-sufficiency of pleadings


3 arguments against application of foreign law

1. against public policy
2. procedural rather than substantive
3. penal law

**Against public policy: both restatements 1 and 2 provide that if a foreign law violates the public policy of the forum state, then the forum court may refuse to apply the law


3 arguments against application of foreign law:

Penal Laws

both restatements 1 and 2 provide that a forum state will not enforce another state's penal laws

tax and civil laws aren't penal laws


Bilateral and ex parte divorces

BiLateral Divorce
If the court has personal jurisdiction over both spouses and at least one spouse is domiciled in
the state, then the divorce judgment will be a valid bilateral divorce and will be entitled to full
faith and credit.

2. Ex Parte Divorce (recently tested)
Personal jurisdiction over both spouses is not necessary to dissolve a marriage. If the plaintiff
spouse seeking divorce is domiciled in the forum state, the courts of that state have jurisdiction
to dissolve the plaintiff’s marriage (despite the lack of personal jurisdiction over the other
However, the court may not issue a binding order affecting personal rights of the spouses such
as property rights, alimony, and child custody unless the other spouse who is not domiciled in
the state agrees to the order


Child Custody

There is a reciprocal statute in all 50 states that governs child custody: the Uniform Child
Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Under the UCCJEA, a court can make initial
custody decisions if it is in the child’s home state, and all other states must give full faith and
credit to such decisions.

Other states cannot modify these custody decrees unless the original court has no significant
connection to the child or parents anymore (i.e., neither the child nor the parents reside in that state anymore


Full Faith and Credit means

IF valid judgment rendered by a court with proper JX over the parties b) the parties received proper notice c) and had a reasonable opp. to be heard

Then Full Faith and Credit requires that the judgment receive the same effect in other states it received in the state in which it was rendered

valid, final, and on the merits



voluntary agreement to recognize a foreign judgment


Corporations governed by

state of incorporation


Adoption governed by

forum court law


Uniform Foreign Money Judgment Recognition Act

Adopted in most states

 Foreign money judgments are enforceable in the same manner as sister
state judgments

 Foreign non-money judgments are not covered by the statute but
are usually enforced under


Loans governed by

state where repayment required


Workers' Comp Laws

any state w/ a legitimate interest in an injury and its consequences may apply its workers' comp. act;

employer and employee may contractually agree to apply a particular state's law unless it would vioalte public policy of another state w/ legit interest

Recovery in more than 1 state:
-worker should review the worker's comp statuses of each before deciding where to file

-amounts paid under a prior award must be credited against any subsequent recovery in another state to avoid double recovery


Statute of limitations
2nd restatement

forum should apply its own SOL if it would bar a claim

If forum law would permit the claim, apply unless

1) claim would be barred under the statue of limitations of a state having a significant relationship with the issue an d
2) maintaining claim would serve no substantial interest


Borrowing statutes (SOL)

On foreign causes of action use the shorter of
the forum state's SOL or the SOL of the place where the cause of action arose