Choice of Law in American Courts in 2006: Twentieth Annual Survey


Dean Symeon Symeonides has just released his latest annual salvo into surveying the vast array of choice of law cases in American federal and state courts.  Of the 2,598 conflicts cases referencing such matters this past year, the Survey focuses on those cases that may add something new to the development or understanding of choice of law issues. The Survey is intended as a service to fellow teachers and students of conflicts law, both within and outside the United States. Its central purpose is to inform rather than to advocate.

This year's Survey covers the following topics and sub-topics:

I. Methodology (1. Torts; 2. Contracts; 3. The Methodological Count);

II. Torts in General (1. Car-Lessor's Liability; 2. "No play, No pay" Rules; 3. Other Traffic Accident Cases; 4. "Border-Line" Cases (Literally); 5. Cross-Border Pollution 6. Cross-Border Medical Malpractice; 7. Consumer Fraud; 8. Premises Liability; 9. Sexual Assault);

III. Products Liability (1. Inverse Conflicts; 2. Direct or True Conflicts);

IV. Contracts (1. Contracts with Choice-of-Law Clauses; a. Employment Contracts; b. What Law Governs Choice-of-Forum Clauses; c. Choice-of-Law and Arbitration Clauses; 2. Contracts without Choice-of-Law Clauses; a. Attorney Fees; b. CISG);

V. Insurance Conflicts (1. Automobile Insurance; 2. Other Insurance Conflicts);

VI. Statutes of Limitation;

VII. Privileges and Immunities;

IX. Defense of Marriage Act; and

X. International Cases (1. Hypothetical Jurisdiction and Forum Non Conveniens ;2. Alien Torts Claims Act; 3. Extraordinary Rendition and TVPA; 4. Suits Against Foreign Governments; 5. Yahoo! and Foreign Judgments; 6. Extraterritorial Reach of Federal Statutes; a. Sarbanes-Oxley; b. Civil Rights Act of 1871; c. Criminal Statutes; d. Patents and Trademarks).

The AALS Section on Conflict of Laws has characterized these surveys as "enormously informative and influential" and "extraordinarily helpful to the members of the Section, other academics, the Bench and the practicing bar." Dean Symeonides' latest survey is available on the SSRN, and will be published in an upcoming volume of the American Journal of Comparative Law.  The 2006 edition will also be forthcoming on the American Society of Comparative Law website.