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SMU Law Review




States' and nations' laws collide when foreign factors appear in a lawsuit. Nonresident litigants, incidents outside the forum, parallel lawsuits, and judgments from other jurisdictions can create problems with personal jurisdiction, choice of law, and the recognition of foreign judgments. This article reviews Texas conflicts cases from Texas state and federal courts during the Survey period from October 1, 2003 through November 31, 2004. The article excludes cases involving federal-state conflicts; intrastate issues such as subject matter jurisdiction and venue; and conflicts in time, such as the applicability of prior or subsequent law within a state. State and federal cases are discussed together because conflict of laws is mostly a state law topic, except for a few constitutional limits, resulting in the same rules applying to most issues in state and federal courts. The Survey period saw continued growth in forum contests, a record number of choice of law decisions, and a static number of judgment enforcements. The Texas Supreme Court offered significant opinions on (1) child custody jurisdiction, finding continuing Texas jurisdiction where the children had not lived in Texas for five years; (2) forum selection clauses, approving--in a case of first impression-- a mandamus remedy for a trial court's refusal to honor a choice of forum clause; and (3) class actions, clarifying the requirement of a choice of law analysis in certifying multistate class actions.

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Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

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