Conflict of Laws M.H. Hoffheimer
This is a closed book exam. Do not speak with any person other than the faculty member who is administering this exam until you have turned in your exam. Do not remove any exam materials, questions, or blue books from the room during the exam. After you complete the exam and turn in your blue books, you may take the questions with you when you exit the room.
The exam consists of two parts. You will have two and one-half hours to complete the exam, and recommended times are indicated for each part. Answer all questions.
Identify yourself on your blue books only by your exam number. By placing the exam number on your blue book and by submitting your blue book for credit, you are agreeing to the following pledge (as required by law school policy):
"On my honor I have neither given nor received improper assistance. And I will report any improper assistance that I am made aware of."
Definitions, terms and conditions
Reference to the first
Restatement means the Restatement [first] of the Law of Conflict of Laws
(1934). The term "state" means
a state of the
No effort has been made to
achieve legal verisimilitude, and laws that are included in questions should be
considered accurate only hypothetically and for purposes of answering the
questions on this exam. Do not assume
any additional fact or law, except those laws studied in the course, without
stating explicitly your assumption and explaining why such additional information
is necessary for your answer.
PART I. SHORT ANSWERS (90 minutes for this part--or an average of ten minutes for each question)
Instructions. Write a coherent literate response to each of the following problems. Each problem in this part can be answered adequately with a response that is no longer than one paragraph.
1. Pat, a citizen of
The action is subsequently
transferred pursuant to section 1404(a) to the federal court for the district
of California where the accident occurred and where the defendant resides. The defendant moves to dismiss the action
2. Tin Tin, a citizen of the country of
Waloonia, went on vacation to the country of Mordor, taking his pet dog Snowy
(who was born and raised in Waloonia).
Tin Tin was enjoying a beverage at a bar in
Zargon is also a citizen of Waloonia. After Tin Tin and Zargon return to their homes, Tin Tin sues Zargon in Waloonia courts for intentional infliction of emotional distress and for pain and suffering suffered by Snowy. Under these facts, Waloonia does not recognize a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress but Mordor does. Waloonia does not permit damages for pain and suffering by animals and limits damages to animals to the fair market value of the animal. Mordor permits recovery of damages for pain suffered by animals.
Waloonia follows the First Restatement. Zargon moves for summary judgment arguing that the court should apply Waloonia law. Who wins and why?
3. What is the status of the reciprocity requirement for foreign country money judgments?
4. Pierre, a citizen of
5. Pam P.
was born and raised in the state of
The defendant responded to the lawsuit by
filing a motion to dismiss, arguing that the claim is barred under a
6. Louise Lamort died in her sleep at her apartment in the country of Refugia. At the time of her death Lamort owned real property in the country of Gluckland and a diamond ring that she had left for safe keeping with her daughter who lives in the country of Ringland. The daughter stored the ring in a safe deposit box located at a bank in Ringland for fifteen years. The ring was in the box at the time of Lamort’s death.
Lamort left a handwritten note in her Bible, “I leave everything to my church.” She signed and dated the note.
Lamort regularly attended
Under the law of Gluckland and Ringland, a handwritten will is valid if it is signed and dated. Under the law of Refugia, a handwritten will is not valid unless signed by two witnesses. Under the law of Refugia, a devise of real property to a church is prohibited. Under the law of Gluckland and Ringland, parties may devise and bequeath property to a church.
All the countries apply the First Restatement. None have will borrowing statutes. Who gets what and why?
7. Phyllis, a citizen of East Carolina, travels
with her horse trainer Debbie, also a resident of East Carolina, to participate
in the Equine Sport Fair in
A statute in
8. Fred and Wilma, citizens of the country of Polygaland, got married in a traditional ceremony in the country of Polygaland. At the time of the marriage, Fred was already married to Winky. But his second marriage to Wilma was also valid under the law of Polygaland.
While Fred and Wilma were vacationing in the state of Confusion, Fred drove a rental car into a streetcar, causing injuries to Wilma. Wilma commences a civil action against Fred in Confusion state court.
Under the law of Polygaland, spouses are immune to claims for personal injury asserted by their spouses. The purpose of the immunity, as explained by the Polygaland courts, is to promote marital harmony.
Confusion law does not recognize either polygamous marriages or the defense of spousal immunity. Confusion follows the comparative impairment approach to conflicts cases. Polygaland follows the First Restatement.
Fred asks your legal advice about what law the Confusion courts will apply in the case. Please advise.
9. Bob Bayard, a resident of the
One year after buying the
computer, the computer’s hard drive crashed.
Bayard contacted Big Mart and was informed that he was required to ship
the computer to the Big Mart repair center in
A dispute has arisen over
who must pay for the costs of shipping the computer to the repair center. Under the law of
East Carolina follows the
Second Restatement. What law will it
apply and why?
PART II. ANALYTIC ESSAY (60 minutes total)
Instructions. Write a coherent, literate essay in the Blue Book that responds to the following problem.
The Case of the Drinking Driving Dilemma (60 minutes)
Debbie Duck, a nineteen-year-old citizen of the state of Intoxication, went out on a date with Paul Pato. Pato picked her up at her parents house in the state of Intoxication and drove her out to Sunset Lake. There Pato produced a bottle of wine and encouraged Duck to drink. Duck had two glasses of wine. She then watched in horror as Pato finished off the bottle and then drank two more bottles of wine.
As a result, Pato became ill and lost consciousness. “Thanks for the swell date, Lover Boy,” Duck murmured as she pushed Pato into the back seat.
Duck then took the car keys from Pato’s pocket and drove back towards her house. Unfortunately, Duck got lost. Without realizing it, she followed the county road into the adjacent state of Confusion.
After entering Confusion, it grew dark. Duck pulled off the road into a convenience store in order to ask for directions. As she entered the parking lot, she collided with a car driven by Preston Peabody. Peabody suffered injuries as a result of the collision. Pato struck his head in the back seat and was injured during the collision.
Confusion State Police arrived at the accident scene, administered a portable breath alcohol test and determined that Duck’s blood alcohol level was .022%. The police charged her with violating Confusion Criminal Code section 911, which makes it a criminal offense for a person under 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of more than .02%.
Duck did not realize that she was driving in the state of Confusion. In her home state of intoxication, it is a criminal offense for a nineteen-year-old to operate a motor vehicle only when her blood alcohol level exceeds .08% or when there is other evidence of intoxication. There is no other evidence of intoxication in this case.
Pato and Peabody commence civil actions in the state of Intoxication courts. They allege that Duck was negligent per se because she was driving in violation of the Confusion Criminal Code section 911. Duck denies liability and argues that Intoxication law should apply.
In addition, Peabody has joined Mrs. Pato, the owner of the car that Duck was driving at the time of the collision. Peabody alleges that Mrs. Pato is liable under the Sate of Intoxication Car Owner Liability Act. The Act provides that car owners are jointly and severally liable for any personal injuries caused by persons driving their car with their permission. According to cases decided by the Intoxication courts, Duck was a permissive driver under these facts. The state of Confusion has no similar provision imposing vicarious liability on car owners. Mrs. Pato argues that the statute does not apply and that she is not liable under Confusion law.
Duck also raises the defense of contributory negligence in response to Pato’s claims. Under the law of Confusion, a plaintiff’s voluntary intoxication that contributes to his or her injuries constitutes a complete bar to a tort claim, while the state of Intoxication follows a form of comparative negligence under which a plaintiff’s fault may reduce the amount of recovery but does not constitute a complete bar.
Finally, the defendants raise defenses under the statute of limitations. The plaintiffs commenced their actions after the two years prescribed by the Intoxication statute of limitations but within the three years prescribed by the Confusion statute of limitations.
The state of Intoxication follows the Second Restatement approach to conflicts. The state of Confusion follows the Better Rule of Law approach. Please explain what law the Intoxication court will apply to 1) the issue of whether Duck is negligent per se under the conflicting blood alcohol standards, 2) the issue of whether Mrs. Pato is vicariously liable under the Car Owner Liability Act, 3) the issue of whether Pato’s claim is barred by contributory negligence, and 4) the issue of whether the actions are time barred under the statute of limitations.