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Flashcards in Conflicts of Laws Deck (37)
1

How do you recognize a choice of law issue?

It will involve litigation having factual contacts with New York AND one or more other states. These states will have "conflicting laws" with "conflicting results".

2

When there are conflicting laws, which state law governs?

It will be the law selected by the forum court [i.e. New York] using its choice of law approach (subject to constitutional and statutory limitations)

3

What are the const. ltds on choice of law?

The ONLY time there's a const ltd under either DUE PROCESS or FF&C is where the law applied is that of a state NOT having ANY significant contacts with and/or legitimate interest in the litigation As a practical matter, this almost NEVER happens

4

What are the statutory ltds on choice of law?

These are either state or federal statutes directing the court as to what law it must or cannot apply e.g., borrowing statutes of limitation, federal patent law (can only be in federal courts)

5

What is the choice of law rule when a fed ct is sitting in diversity jx?

If the forum is a federal district court sitting in diversity jurisdiction, the court will apply the "conflicts" rules of the state in which it is located. EX. SDNY has a diversity case with a conflicts issue. What choice of law approach will it apply? →the New York approach. NOTE: If the case has been transferred from another district, the court will apply the conflicts rules of the transferor state EX. Same facts as above. However, the case was transferred to the SDNY from the ED of Michigan. What choice of law approach will be applied by the Southern District Court? →the Michigan approach

6

How does the "interest analysis" appoach work?

This is the **NEW** NY approach Determine what interest each state has in the "outcome" of the litigation 1) "False Conflict": Only ONE state has an interest in having its law applied Result: Apply THAT state's law 2) "True Conflict": BOTH states have an interest in having their laws applied. Result: If the forum has a "legitimate" interest in the "outcome" of the litigation it will apply its own law The practical effect: you will almost always apply forum (i.e. New York) law in true conflict cases because the forum almost always has a legitimate interest in the outcome of the litigation

7

What is the COL rule for NY tort cases?

Neumeier Rules for "loss distribution" 1) If the π has a common domicile w/ ∆→ that state's law governs that suit 2) If the π is domiciled in a different state than ∆ → the law of the place of INJURY governs for that suit UNLESS the state of the place of injury has no real interest in the outcome of the litigation, then if NY has any legitimate interest NY law will be applied NOTE: a court must consider EACH π vis-a vis EACH ∆ E.g. Two car collision in NY. Both drivers were negligent. Car One was from Canada and both driver and passenger were Canadians. Car Two was from New York and the driver was from New York. The Canadian passenger was seriously injured and brought suit against both drivers in New York. Suit 1 (w/ Canadian ∆) →Canada Law applies b/c of common domicile Suit 2 (w/ New York ∆) →NY Law applies b/c they have different domiciles (place of injury law governs)

8

What is the COL rule for NY K cases?

1) Is there a VALID express choice of law provision →if so it governs Reasons to INVALIDATE provision No true mutual assent Law selected is that of state having NO REASONABLE RELATIONSHIP to contract NOTE: if K is worth $250,000 or more →the parties can choose NY law EVEN if the K has no connection to NY (if K is worth ≥$1MM, a ct can't dismiss for forum non conveniens) 2) If NO valid express choice of law provision → apply INTEREST APPROACH i.e. as long as NY has a legitimate interest in the outcome, apply NY law

9

What is NYs special COL rule for auto insurance Ks?

All issues regarding the rights and duties under an insurance policy are governed by the state where the policy was written REGARDLESS of where the accident occur.

10

What are 2 defenses against applying the a non-forum law?

Defense #1: other law is against forum's public policy (almost never works) Defense #2: the matter is procedural New York will use its choice of law approaches to determine which substantive law to apply. However, it will ALWAYS apply procedural law

11

What is the COL rule for NY real property cases?

Situs. This covers BOTH inter vivos transactions (e.g., land sale contract) and inheritance matters.

12

What is the COL rule for NY personal property cases?

1) Inter vivos trxn →Situs at the time of the relevant trxn 2) Inheritance →Domicile of decedent at date of death. NOTE: If an intangible property interest is incorporated in a document (e.g., negotiable instrument, stock certificate) →apply law of situs where the document is physically located

13

What is the COL rule for NY marriage cases?

RULE: If a marriage is valid where it is performed ("celebrated") it will be recognized as valid everywhere, including New York EXCEPTION: Where domiciliaries of one state temporarily leave that state and go elsewhere to get married in order to avoid a "prohibitory rule" of their state of domicile, their state of domicile will not recognize the marriage. A "prohibitory rule" is one that expresses a strong public policy (E.g., First cousins cannot marry). NOTE: NY doesn't have very many

14

What is the COL rule for NY divorce cases?

There are no choice of law issues. The forum always applies its own divorce laws. Since at least one of the spouses is domiciled there it has an interest in having its own laws apply.

15

What is the COL rule for NY legitimacy cases?

The validity of subsequent acts of legitimation are governed by the law of father's domicile. The modern trend holds it is valid IF sufficient under the law of EITHER the father's OR child's domicile.

16

What is the COL rule for a SOL?

GENERAL RULE: Statutes of limitations are treated as procedural → thus, New York will apply its own statute. THE TWO EXCEPTIONS: 1) Borrowing Statutes (Statutory Direction): Under these, the forum is directed to apply the "shorter" time limit (the forum's or that of the state where the cause of action arose) New York has a borrowing statute. NOTE: NY will NOT apply its borrowing staute if the π is from NY (i.e. it will use NY law) 2) Statute Conditions Substantive Right The Rule: If you apply another state's statute which creates a substantive right, you should apply the entire statute including its otherwise procedural type provisions THAT APPEAR IN THE SAME STATUTE

17

How do you establish a person's domicile?

Domicile = Physical presence in a place + Intent to be domiciled in that place.

18

What are 4 key principles of domicile?

(i) Physical presence can be for even a very short period of time as long as the intent is clearly manifested (ii) Do NOT confuse intent with motive (iii) If one has multiple RESIDENCES, the principal residence one is his/her domicile (iv) One retains their domicile UNTIL they have "satisfied" the two part test elsewhere

19

How do you establish domicile for individuals who lack legal capacity?

(i) Infants: will be assigned the domicile of their parents  In case of divorce or separation, it will be the domicile of the one with custody (ii) Mental Incompetents: One is assigned domicile of his/her parents. If one became incompetent AFTER having acquired a domicile of choice, he/she retains the domicile of choice.

20

How do you spot a recognition of jdmt question?

1) In the fact pattern they will tell you that a judgment has been rendered another state or country; AND 2) In the call of the question line they will tell you that one of the parties is seeking to have it recognized in New York NOTE: On the exam refer to the state handing the judgment down as the "rendering" state Refer to New York as the "recognizing" state

21

What are the threshold questions to ask to see if NY should recognize a jdmt?

1) Is it a sister state or foreign country judgment that requires recognition? 2) If sister state, is it entitled to Full Faith and Credit? Are the 3 full faith and credit requirements satisfied? Are there any good defenses to full faith and credit? IF FF&C reqs are met, AND there are no "good" defenses  → FF&C applies

22

When are the 3 Full Faith and Credit requirements satisfied?

While looking to RENDERING STATE'S law... 1) JURISDICTION must have been proper in the rendering state court "One Attack" rule: jx can only be attacked once—either in the rendering court proceeding OR in the recognizing court proceeding. 2) Judgment must be ON THE MERITS NOT ON MERITS = dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction, SOL, π's lack of capacity to bring suit, misjoinder of parties or causes of action, improper venue ON MERITS = default jdmts NOTE: dismissal for failure to state a c/a is on the merits ONLY IF π cannot amend to allege a cause of action 3) Judgment must be FINAL NOT final while on appeal NOT final when it's a modifiable judgment (alimony support pmt can be modified in the future)  

23

What are "good" (and "bad") defenses to Full Faith & Credit?

"GOOD" DEFENSES The judgment is penal (i.e. punishes "an offense against the public"), where π is government Cannot involve a private π The judgment was procured by extrinsic fraud INTRINSIC = If the fraud could have been dealt with during the earlier trial within the regular workings of the judicial system (i.e. perjury of witness) EXTRINSIC = i.e. bribing judge "BAD" DEFENSES The judgment is contrary to the recognizing state's public policy Mistakes of law and/or fact were made = b/c such mistakes should have been challenged in the rendering state's court system

24

Are federal and state courts req'd to recognize one another's judgments?

By statute, federal and state courts are required to recognize one another's judgments Fed ct is treated like a "sister" state ct **BAR EXAM FAVORITE**

25

When will NY recognize a foreign jx's jdmt?

Foreign country judgments are basically recognized ("comity" given) on the same basis as sister state judgments even tho FF&C does NOT apply However, the recognizing court will specifically look to see if our "fairness" standards are satisfied both in terms of: Whether jx was proper [A min contact's- type of jx analysis] Whether "fair" procedures were used during the earlier litigation

26

How do you spot a recognition of jdmt question?

1) In the fact pattern they will tell you that a judgment has been rendered another state or country; AND 2) In the call of the question line they will tell you that one of the parties is seeking to have it recognized in New York NOTE: On the exam refer to the state handing the judgment down as the "rendering" state Refer to New York as the "recognizing" state

27

What are the threshold questions to ask to see if NY should recognize a jdmt?

1) Is it a sister state or foreign country judgment that requires recognition? 2) If sister state, is it entitled to Full Faith and Credit? Are the 3 full faith and credit requirements satisfied? Are there any good defenses to full faith and credit? IF FF&C reqs are met, AND there are no "good" defenses  → FF&C applies

28

When are the 3 Full Faith and Credit requirements satisfied?

While looking to RENDERING STATE'S law... 1) JURISDICTION must have been proper in the rendering state court "One Attack" rule: jx can only be attacked once—either in the rendering court proceeding OR in the recognizing court proceeding. 2) Judgment must be ON THE MERITS NOT ON MERITS = dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction, SOL, π's lack of capacity to bring suit, misjoinder of parties or causes of action, improper venue ON MERITS = default jdmts NOTE: dismissal for failure to state a c/a is on the merits ONLY IF π cannot amend to allege a cause of action 3) Judgment must be FINAL NOT final while on appeal NOT final when it's a modifiable judgment (alimony support pmt can be modified in the future)  

29

What are "good" (and "bad") defenses to Full Faith & Credit?

"GOOD" DEFENSES The judgment is penal (i.e. punishes "an offense against the public"), where π is government Cannot involve a private π The judgment was procured by extrinsic fraud INTRINSIC = If the fraud could have been dealt with during the earlier trial within the regular workings of the judicial system (i.e. perjury of witness) EXTRINSIC = i.e. bribing judge "BAD" DEFENSES The judgment is contrary to the recognizing state's public policy Mistakes of law and/or fact were made = b/c such mistakes should have been challenged in the rendering state's court system

30

Are federal and state courts req'd to recognize one another's judgments?

By statute, federal and state courts are required to recognize one another's judgments Fed ct is treated like a "sister" state ct **BAR EXAM FAVORITE**

31

When will NY recognize a foreign jx's jdmt?

Foreign country judgments are basically recognized ("comity" given) on the same basis as sister state judgments even tho FF&C does NOT apply However, the recognizing court will specifically look to see if our "fairness" standards are satisfied both in terms of: Whether jx was proper [A min contact's- type of jx analysis] Whether "fair" procedures were used during the earlier litigation

32

How do you spot a recognition of jdmt question?

"

"

In the fact pattern they will tell you that a judgment has been rendered another state or country; AND 2) In the call of the question line they will tell you that one of the parties is seeking to have it recognized in New York. On the exam refer to the state handing the judgment down as the rendering state. Refer to New York as the recognizing state.

33

What are the threshold questions to ask to see if NY should recognize a jdmt?

1) Is it a sister state or foreign country judgment that requires recognition? 2) If sister state, is it entitled to Full Faith and Credit? Are the 3 full faith and credit requirements satisfied? Are there any good defenses to full faith and credit? IF FF&C reqs are met, AND there are no "good" defenses  → FF&C applies

34

When are the 3 Full Faith and Credit requirements satisfied?

While looking to RENDERING STATE'S law... 1) JURISDICTION must have been proper in the rendering state court "One Attack" rule: jx can only be attacked once—either in the rendering court proceeding OR in the recognizing court proceeding. 2) Judgment must be ON THE MERITS NOT ON MERITS = dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction, SOL, π's lack of capacity to bring suit, misjoinder of parties or causes of action, improper venue ON MERITS = default jdmts NOTE: dismissal for failure to state a c/a is on the merits ONLY IF π cannot amend to allege a cause of action 3) Judgment must be FINAL NOT final while on appeal NOT final when it's a modifiable judgment (alimony support pmt can be modified in the future)  

35

What are "good" (and "bad") defenses to Full Faith & Credit?

"GOOD" DEFENSES The judgment is penal (i.e. punishes "an offense against the public"), where π is government Cannot involve a private π The judgment was procured by extrinsic fraud INTRINSIC = If the fraud could have been dealt with during the earlier trial within the regular workings of the judicial system (i.e. perjury of witness) EXTRINSIC = i.e. bribing judge "BAD" DEFENSES The judgment is contrary to the recognizing state's public policy Mistakes of law and/or fact were made = b/c such mistakes should have been challenged in the rendering state's court system  

36

Are federal and state courts req'd to recognize one another's judgments?

By statute, federal and state courts are required to recognize one another's judgments Fed ct is treated like a "sister" state ct **BAR EXAM FAVORITE**

37

When will NY recognize a foreign jx's jdmt?

Foreign country judgments are basically recognized ("comity" given) on the same basis as sister state judgments even tho FF&C does NOT apply However, the recognizing court will specifically look to see if our "fairness" standards are satisfied both in terms of: Whether jx was proper [A min contact's- type of jx analysis] Whether "fair" procedures were used during the earlier litigation