Conflict of Laws: Getting Started

The area of law that concerns matters of jurisdiction, choice of law and judgments.

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Introduction

Conflict of Laws encompasses three major categories of procedural law - jurisdiction, choice of law, and the recognition and enforcement of judgments. For jurisdiction to attach, a court must determine the connection of the parties or property to the forum in which the action is brought and whether that connection is sufficient under the rules of procedure to confer jurisdiction. In choice of law matters, courts must determine what law to apply based on factors such as where the object of the claim occurred, the jurisdiction spelled out in an agreement, or whether the laws of the jurisdictions involved differ in significant ways. Conflict of laws also arises in the recognition and enforcement of judgments, particularly where one party seeks to execute a judgment obtained in one state against a citizen (individual or corporate) of another state under the Full Faith and Credit clause of Article IV of the United State Constitution.

General Advice:  To simplify conflict of laws research, use secondary authority or study aids, such as a legal encyclopedia, a treatise or a hornbook, to identify an appropriate subtopic of conflict of laws.  These secondary sources can lead you to appropriate primary sources, such as cases, related to the specific topic.

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