Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2011

Journal Title

SMU Law Review

Abstract

The laws of states and nations 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 conflict cases from Texas state and federal courts during the Survey period from November 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010. 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 similar rules applying to most issues in state and federal courts.

Although no data is readily available to confirm this, Texas is no doubt a primary state in the production of conflict-of-laws precedents. This results not only from its size and population, but also from its placement bordering four states as well as a civil law nation (Mexico), and its involvement in international shipping. Only California shares these factors, with the partial exception of states bordering Quebec. Texas courts experience every range of conflict-of-laws litigation. In addition to a large number of garden-variety opinions on personal jurisdiction, Texas courts produce case law every year on Internet-based jurisdiction, prorogating and derogating forum-selection clauses, federal long-arm statutes with nationwide process, international forum non conveniens, parallel litigation, international family law issues, and private lawsuits against foreign sovereigns. Recognition and enforcement of interstate and international judgments offer fewer annual examples, possibly a sign of that subject's administrative nature resulting in only a few reported cases.

Texas state and federal courts provide a fascinating study of conflicts issues every year, but the volume of case law now greatly exceeds this Survey's ability to report on them. Thus, this article focuses on selective cases due to journal space and author's time.

First Page

175

Included in

Law Commons

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