Shared Flashcard Set


PA Conflict of Laws 2010
PA Conflict of Laws 2010 Bar Exam

Additional Law Flashcards




Conflict of Law, First Step
Proper Jurisdiction
Full Faith & Credit, Rule
FFC Clause provides "ffc shall be given in each state to public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state"

As a matter of right, foreign judgments will be recognized in forum state so long as requirements of FFC are met

Covers judgments of all state cts, fed cts, and administrative tribunals (statutorily)
FFC, Requirements (3)
Look at law of rendering court to determine:
1. Proper Jurisdiction - PJ & SMJ; Bootstrap Doctrine
2. Judgment on Merits - Default & Consent Judgments are limited
3. Final Judgment - modifiable divorcee decree split
FFC, Defenses against (3) and non-defense
- Penal Judgments - taxes are not penal
- Extrinsic Fraud - 1 party fraudulently causes other to not fully present case
- Inconsistent Judgments - last
- Nondefense - contrary to Public Policy of forum
FFC, Effect of Recognition
Res Judicata Effects -
If Same Cause of Action (same SM, issue, relief, harm):
- Merger - P won, Ps cause merged
- Bar - D won, P barred from re-litigating issue
- Collateral Estoppel - cause of action different, but contains same issue, estopped on that issue if:
1. issue of fact actually litigated & determined, and 2. essential to/determinative of first judgment
3rd Parties may use so long as party used against was party/in privity with party of prior action with full & fair opportunity to litigate

Binds parties & parties' privies (interests represented by party)
FFC, Enforcement of Judgment
If entitled to FFC, must be enforced
Law of forum state governs method of enforcement
Foreign Nation Judgments, Recognition Methods (2)
Not entitled to FFC

Comity Principle - voluntary recognition of foreign judgment based on:
- Proper Jurisdiction
- Fair Procedures

Uniform Foreign Money-Judgments Recognition Act
- Any foreign judgment granting/denying recovery of $$ is recognized
Exception: taxes, penal, alimony & child support
Divorce Judgments, Recognition
Get FFC if:
- Proper Jurisdiction (satisfied if 1 spouse domiciled in rendering state, in PA must establish residency for at least 6m)
- Valid decree in rendering state
Ex Parte Divorce Judgments, Recognition
Rebuttable presumption of domicile of P aides - transfers burden to D

If forum court has PJ over both parties, and finds invalid jurisdiction of rendering court, may invalidate divorce
Consent Divorce Judgment, Recognition
Both before court (PJ), one domiciled in state (SMJ), then entitled to FFC - valid bilateral divorce
Who can challenge divorce?
any interested party
Divorce Judgments, Parties estopped against collateral attack (4)
1. Party to Prior Proceedings
2. Privies of Parties - determined according to rendering court
3. Strangers - if no standing in rendering court, no standing here
4. Remarriage in Reliance on Divorce - cannot assert invalidity of divorce
Divorce Judgments, Alimony & Property Rights
Bilateral Divorce - included in decree, entitled to same FFC

Ex Parte - Doctrine of Divisible Divorce
Forum ct may adjudicate rights to marital property in forum state where sufficient minimum contacts exist (in rem/quasi in rem jd)
Divorce Judgments, Child Custody
Ct has jd to make initial custody determination if child's home state; entitled to FFC & unmodifiable by other jds unless child no longer significantly connected to rendering jd
Foreign Nation Divorce Judgments, Recognition
Comity Principle where domicile met

Alimony/Property/Child Custody - same as for sister states
Domicile of Individuals, Types (2)
(There can only be 1 domicile)

Domicile of Choice:
- Physical presence - question of fact
- Intent to be domiciled - intend to remain indefinitely
Remains domicile until establish new domicile by clear & convincing evidence

Domicile by Operation of Law
- Married women - historically, husband's unless separated; modern trend, own
- Infants - Marital child, father's; dead father, mother's; divorced/separated, custodial parent; emancipated, own
- Incompetents - Parent's, unless established DoC while competent
- Domicile of Origin - established at birth - marital, fathers; non-marital, mothers
Domicile of Corporations
State of incorporation
Choice of Law, Constitutional Limitations (2)
1. Due Process Clause - forum state may apply own law only if sufficiently substantial contacts with parties & transaction

2. FFC -
- Worker's comp - may apply forum if substantial factual contacts with case
-Obligation to provide a forum - wrongful death actions
- Public Policy - do not have to apply another state's sovereign immunity statute if violates legitimate public policy of forum
- Do not have to use another state's statutes where forum is competent to litigate
CoL, ultimate conclusion
If forum state has any significant contacts with parties and subject matter of action, and a legitimate interest in regulating outcome of litigation, it is not constitutionally bound to apply another state's law and will general default to applying its own relevant laws.
CoL, Statutory Limitations
Forum state may have statutory provisions directing what law must be applied in certain situations

Supremacy clause may preempt state law from taking jd over a particular sm
CoL, 1st R, Vested Rights Approach
(abandoned in Pa)

1.) Characterize area of substantive law
- Substantive or Procedural
- Forum uses own standards to determine area
2.) Determine applicable CoL rule
3.) Localize rule to be applie
CoL, Government Interests Approach
General Rule: Forum applies own law unless challenged by a party, then determine false/true conflict

1. Identify Interests
2. Evaluate Contacts
3. If only one state interested - False Conflict
4. If multiple states interested - Apparent Conflict - reevaluate more moderate & restrained
5. If multiple states still interested - True Conflict - apply forum law so long as legitimate interest

If forum not one of the interested states, may dismiss unless Forum Non Convenies, then:
- Apply law of jd forum likes best
- Apply law of jb most resembling forum's law

If no interested jds - Unprovided for Case - apply forum law
CoL, 2d R Most Significant Relationship
Rule: Apply law of most interested state

1. Connecting Facts - evaluate importance of contacts to each jd
2. Policy Principles (7) -
- Needs of Interstate/International Systems
- Relevant Policies of Forum
- Policies/Interests of other jds
- Need to Protect Justified Party Expectations (K)
- Basic Policies underlying particular Substantive Field
- Objectives of certainty, predictability, and uniformity of result (discourage forum shopping)
- Ease of determination & application of specific law
CoL, PA hybrid approach (how to answer bar q)
(hybrid of GI & MSR)

1. Describe PA Approach: Ct looks to law of state with greatest interest first, measuring that interest against significance of contacts with parties and transaction. Ct weighs contacts on a qualitative scale to determine which jd has a priority interest.
2. Identify GI
3. Determine if "True Conflict" exists
4. If so, apply law of state with greatest interest by a qualitative analysis of relevant contacts
- List connecting facts
- Weigh connectors
CoL, PA Rules for Torts
MSR, Generally -
1. Additional Policies:
- Place of Injury (controls in cases involving personal injury, injury to land/tangibles, & wrongful death - unless clear another jd has MSR)
- Place of conduct causing injury
-Domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation, or place of biz
- Place where relationship of parties is centered

Specific Tort Issues

1. Existence of Cause of Action
- MSR - jd w. MSR
- GI - forum w. legitimate interest
2. Defenses
- PA - D acting in home state can expect those protections to apply
- Guest Statutes - PA applies if MSR
- Intrafamily - MSR - common domicile; GI - common domicile if brought there
- Charitable Immunity - MSR - exception to MSR if Ps domicile & charity's principal place of biz are the same
- Releases from Liability - MSR to parties & transaction
3. Vicarious Liability - MSR to transaction
4. Dram Shop - if not in both states, hybrid

Damages: (presents substantive/procedural issue)
MSR - MSR to transaction
GI - state of Ps domicile
PA - greatest interest - domicile of P or decedent

Contributions among Joint Tortfeasors
MSR - law of case, unless both domiciled in same jd not place of injury, increased by special relationship

Survival & Abatement Actions: (sub/pro issue)

Wrongful Death:
1. General - MSR - place of injury, unless other MSR to parties & occurrence (often forum)
2. Who May Sue - determined by statute creating action
3. SoL - (sub/pro issue) - generally determined by statute creating action
4. Damages - limits determined by statute creating action

Multi-State Torts:
Injury occurring in more than one state, apply law of Ps domicile if one of those jds
CoL, PA Rules for Contracts
Express Choice of Law Prevails
- Exceptions (3):
1. Contrary to fundamental public policy of state w greater interest than chosen state
2. No reasonable basis for parties' choice and no substantial relationship between choosen jd and parties & transaction, provision not applied
3. Lack of true consent via fraud, mistake, or adhesion contract

No valid CoL Clause:
- MSR - Additional PP (5):
1. Place of contracting
2. Place of negotiating
3. Place of performance
4. K SM location
5. Domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorp, and place of biz
If place of negotiation and performance are the same, will generally be applied

Rules for Specific Ks:
Land - creation & transfer of interest - situs unless MSR
Sale of Chattels - place of delivery
Insurance - Life, insured's domicile at application; casualty, location of principal risk
Suretyship - law governing principal obligation
Repayment of Loans - location of repayment
Transportation - place of departure
Usurious - valid if upheld by ay significantly related jd

Above applied unless MSR exists (except usurious)

Specific Issues in K:
- Validity
1. Capacity - MSR - domicile of party involved
2. Formalities - MSR - place of execution
3. Legality - MSR - MSR to transaction; unless performance illegal in state of performance OR illegal in forum state and enforce violates strong public policy, denied enforcement
4. Rule of Validation - law upholding K will apply where roughly equal relationships exist

- Performance
MSR - to parties & transaction

- Rights & Powers of 3d Parties
1. 3d Party Beneficiaries - MSR to parties & transaction
2. Assignment - MSR - assignability determined by law of MSR to parties & transaction; assignment K separate from original K
CoL, PA Rules for Property
Real Property:
- MSR to transaction, generally situs

Personal Property:
- Tangibles - MSR to transaction, generally situs
- Intangibles - MSR to transaction, generally domicile of debtor unless represented by tangible document, then treated as tangible for CoL
- UCC - generally covers CoL in statute

Administration of Trusts:
- Law of place administered
CoL, PA Rules for Inheritance
Real Property:
- Governed by Lex Situs - place land situated
Following issues are covered:
1. Will - capacity of testator, formal validity, revocation, & nature of interest conveyed
2. Rights of nonmarital or adopted children
3. Rights of surviving spouse
4. Escheat of land

Personal Property:
- Governed by deceased domicile at death; Issues include same as real property

Effect of Equitable Conversion:
treated as personalty interest; must first be valid will under lex situs
CoL, PA Rules for Family Law
- Generally, marriage valid where celebrated is valid everywhere; a marriage void where celebrated is void everywhere
- Exceptions - Violation of Prohibitory Rule of domicile of one of the parties, void if parties become immediately domiciled there
(i.e. Same-Sex Marriage)
- Annulment - place of celebration, sometimes MSR to marriage

Divorce - Ps domicile

Child's Status:
- Time of Birth - non-marital if parents not married at birth; presumption marital if married (mother's domicile determines ir/rebuttable)
- Change status - nonmarital to marital validity under father's domicile; MSR also okay with child's domicile
- Property Incidents - status important for rights to inherit
- Adoption - apply own local law to determine whether to grant, will be recognized by other states
CoL, PA Rules for Corporations
MSR - state of incorporation for creations/dissolution and shareholder liability for assessments
Arguments Against Application of Foreign Law, Reasons (3)
1. Law is procedural
2. Law is against public policy
3. Law is penal or tax law
Substance-Procedural Dichotomy
Rule: A forum will always apply its own procedural rules (forum law determines procedural/substantive)

Civil Practice Rules:
1. State Cts
- Rules of practice & evidence are generally procedural
- Outcome determinative test
2. Fed Courts -
- Fed Ct applying state law, FRCP presumed to control unless state civil practice rule is substantive and applicable if it either: (i) abridges, enlarges, or modifies substantive right of parties or (ii) not Congress's const. powers

Burden of Proof:
1. Traditional Rule - procedural
2. Presumptions
- Irrebuttable - substantive
- Rebuttable - traditionally, procedural; unless primary purpose is to affect outcome of litigation

SoL - Traditionally, procedural, with several exceptions:
1. Borrowing statutes
- Shorter time period applies, protect D & discourage forum shopping
- Foreign state is where claim accrued - Tort, injury; K, performance
- What is Borrowed - length of period and provisions relating to running period

2. Statute Conditions Substantive Right, then SoL is substantive
- Wrongful death - not a substantive part, but procedural

3. Contractual limitations - substantive & enforceable if valid under law governing K

4. Modern Trend - treat SoL like other issues

Statutes of Frauds - generally substantive and governed by law governing K

Parol Evidence Rule - substantive

Contributions among joint tortfeasors - substantive

Direct Action Statutes - ability to sue insurance company directly, procedural

Survival of Actions - upon death of P, substantive, and governed by otherwise governing law

Adverse Possession & prescription - time periods are substantive, situs

Counterclaims - procedural

Testimony regarding Privileged Communications:
- MSR - law of state having MSR with communication
- GI - greatest interest; gives great weight to state privilege arises

- Generally, substantive and governed by otherwise governing law
- Statutory Limitations - substantive, wrongful death - procedural
Foreign Law Against Public Policy
MSR - forum state may refuse to apply if contrary to strong public opinion of forum; used sparingly after close scrutiny

GI - not a defense, pp considered in reaching decision which law to apply
Foreign Penal or Tax Law
MSR - prohibits application

Penal does not include wrongful death, statutory liability of directors/officers/shareholders of corps for corp debts

Won't enforce tax; will enforce revenue
Foreign Penal or Tax Law
MSR - prohibits application

Penal does not include wrongful death, statutory liability of directors/officers/shareholders of corps for corp debts

Won't enforce tax; will enforce revenue
Apply State or Federal: Fed Law in State Cts
Fed Law in State Cts:
1. Prohibition against Enforcing Fed Law - SMJ may reside solely with Fed Ct (antitrust, bankruptcy, copyright, patent)
2. Permitted to Enforce Fed Law - if no exclusive SMJ, state courts may exercise their concurrent jd
3. Requirement that Fed Law be Enforced - some fed statutes require states enforce federally created right, unless valid reason for not doing so
4. State's Power to Evade Enforcing Fed Right - may not be able to use procedure excuse if state law is stricter than fed law
Apply State or Federal: State Law in Fed Cts
1. Erie Doctrine - diversity of citizenship, fed dist ct must apply substantive law of state in which fdc sits including CoL rules

2. Procedural Law - fed cts apply fed procedural law
- Federal Directives - If fed law on point exists, it applies
- No Fed Directive on Point - Sub v. Procedural
If Sub - state law in diversity case
If Pro - may ignore state law
- Outcome Determination - sub = substantial effect on outcome
- Balance of Interests - state/fed - which has greatest interest in applying rule
- Forum Shopping Deterrence - follow state law if failure to do so would cause flocking to fed ct
Proof of Foreign Law
Traditionally, foreign law is fact and must be pleaded & proved

Judicial Notice - rather PA requires ct to take judicial notice of such law, treating it like law not fact
Supporting users have an ad free experience!