Choice of Law

When a dispute has a connection to more than one jurisdiction, and when the laws of those jurisdictions are materially different, a court must perform a choice-of-law analysis to determine which law to apply. To make this determination, a court will typically apply the choice-of-law rules of the jurisdiction in which it sits. Although choice-of-law rules vary significantly across U.S. states, many courts look to the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws for guidance. The American Law Institute is currently in the process of drafting the Restatement (Third) of Conflict of Laws.

A Primer on Choice of Law

Choice-of-law rules are used to determine the rights, duties, and liabilities of persons involved in a case with a connection to more than one jurisdiction. In the United States, most choice-of-law rules are state law; the federal government rarely legislates in this area. Courts in the United States apply the same choice-of-law rules to international…

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More Choice of Law in Terrorism Cases

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (DDC) hears a lot of state-sponsored terrorism cases. The plaintiffs in these cases typically assert a cause of action under 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(c). This action is, however, only available to individuals who are either (1) a U.S. national, (2) a U.S. servicemember, (3) a U.S….

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Further Thoughts About Missouri’s COVID Suit Against China

As previously discussed at TLB, the Eighth Circuit recently held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not shield the People’s Republic of China from suit on one of the claims that Missouri has brought against it arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the court of appeals held that Missouri could move forward with…

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Latest Developments in Ecuadorian Toxic Tort Case

Since at least the early 1990s, Central and South American residents have been litigating in U.S. courts about their exposure to toxic pesticide called dibromochloropropane (“DBCP”). In the latest decision, Marquínez v. Dole Food Company, Judges Andrews in the District of Delaware held that a consolidated action on behalf of 65 Ecuadorian banana plant workers…

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