Laws and legal systems clash, and when they do, there must be a method for determining which of the competing legal systems is controlling. Conflicts of Law considers the rules used to determine the applicable law when conflicts of law arise. This course considers:
Geographic Conflicts (Choice of Law): e.g., Does the law of Arizona or the law of New Mexico apply when a New Mexican tavern keeper serves an intoxicated person who then injures someone while driving in Arizona?
Vertical Conflicts (Pre-emption): e.g., Does compliance with federal law mandating warnings on cigarette packages pre-empt a product liability action under state law based on inadequate warnings?
Time Conflicts (Retroactivity): e.g., Does a 2005 amendment to the Dram Shop Act apply to a 2004 incident that triggers a lawsuit instituted in 2006?
Judgment Conflicts (Full Faith and Credit): e.g., Must New Mexico enforce a judgment of California's courts if New Mexico concludes that the California court lacked jurisdiction when it rendered the judgment?
This is a practical course. Students learn to anticipate potential choice of law problems, to draft documents to avoid those problems, and to plan litigation strategy that will maximize the likelihood that the court will apply law favorable to the client to resolve disputes.