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Southwestern Law Journal




Conflicts of law occur when foreign elements appear in a lawsuit. Nonresident litigants, incidents in sister states or foreign countries, and lawsuits from other jurisdictions are all foreign elements that may create problems in judicial jurisdiction, choice of law, or the recognition of foreign judgments. This Article reviews Texas conflict of laws during the Survey period from late 1985 through 1986. The Survey includes cases from Texas state and federal courts, and non-Texas cases affecting Texas practice. Excluded are cases involving federal/state conflicts, criminal law, intrastate matters such as subject matter jurisdiction and venue, and conflicts in time, such as the applicability of prior or subsequent law within a state.

During the Survey period judicial jurisdiction continued its uncertain theoretical expansion, but with not as much groundbreaking case law this year from Texas courts or the United States Supreme Court. In fact, the United States Supreme Court offered no cases on judicial jurisdiction for the first time since 1983. Choice of law continued a more orderly development in Texas courts as judges became more familiar with the most significant relationship test from the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws, although many courts still do not apply the test correctly. The area of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments proved less eventful than in 1985, as the occurrence of noteworthy enforcement cases diminishes with the growing use of the uniform enforcement acts.

The new Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code bears on much of this Article's discussion. Because of its recent enactment, many of this year's conflicts cases were litigated under the Code's predecessor statutes. This Article will cite to both the older statutes and the successor Code.

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Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

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