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Conflict of Laws  

This research guide covers choice of law resources (online and print), plus private international law and Lynn Wardle articles.
Last Updated: May 4, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Recommended Legal Resources for Conflict of Laws

Peter Hay, Patrick J. Borchers & Symeon C. Symeonides, Conflict of Laws, 5th ed. (West, 2010)
Reserve Reading Room KF 411 .S28 2010 (item must be used on site).

Excellent hornbook. “While many conflicts problems can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration, most of them end up in litigation. In planning for this eventuality, or when forced to confront it, parties involved in multistate activity should keep in mind three major questions: (1) Where can or should litigation be initiatied? (2) Which law will the court apply? and (3) Where can the resulting judgment be enforced? These three questions correspond to the three consecutive phases that comprise the process of judicial resolution of most conflicts problems, namely: (1) jurisdiction; (2) choice of law; and (3) recognition and enforcement of judgments. In the United States and other common-law systems, these are also the three major divisions of the law of Conflicts of Laws. The organization of this book follows these three divisions.” [page 3]

Symeon C. Symeonides, American Private International Law  (Kluwer Law Intl., 2008)
Law Library Third Floor KF 411 .S98 2008

This treatise covers Conflict of Laws within the United States, including both conflicts among the laws of the fifty U.S. states (interstate conflicts) and between state or federal laws and those of foreign countries (international conflicts).

American Law Institute, Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws (ALI, 1971- )
Reserve Reading Room KF 395 .R42 .C68 1971- V.1-7 (items must be used on site).

This influential work seeks to summarize the many disparate approaches in American courts towards Conflict of Laws. The 14 chapters in volumes 1-2 cover general principles, domicile, judicial jurisdiction, limitations on jurisdiction, judgments, procedure, wrongs (torts), contracts, property, trusts, status (marriage, legitimacy and adoption), agency and partnerships, business corporations, and administration of estates. Court citations (1934-present) to First and Second Restatements are given in volumes 3-7. [Westlaw has full-text of restatements of conflicts first and second, plus revisions and links to case citations in database: REST-CONFL.]

Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Edward H. Cooper, 19 Federal Practice and Procedure  §§ 4501-5000 (1996- )
Reserve Reading Room KF 9619 .W7 V.19 1996 (item must be used on site).

Covers choice of law issues in the U.S. federal courts, specifically jurisdiction and related matters, the Erie Doctrine, and “federal common law.”

Law Review articles. As most Conflict of Law principles are law professor rather than judicially created, legal scholarship is of greater importance here than in some other areas of law.

  To access law review articles, use the links in the left box “Periodical Indexes & Databases.”

  Another non-fee database of recent law review articles is SSRN

"Choice of Law in the American Courts." This annual survey covers the significant U.S. court cases dealing with Conflict of Laws, and is principally compiled by Symeon C. Symeonides. It is available in the following places:

1987- American Journal of Comparative Law, Periodicals K 1 .M442 V.38- (check availability

1987- HeinOnline (search for article title "Choice of Law in the American Courts")

2000- SSRN

Most recent: Symeon C. Symeonides, Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2013: Twenty-Seventh Annual Survey, 62 American Journal of Comparative Law 223-322 (Spring 2014) [SSRN]; Periodicals K 1 .M442 V.62 (check availability)


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