Conflict of Laws†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† M.H. Hoffheimer

Midterm Exam††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† University of Mississippi

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Law School

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Summer 2008

 

 

 

General instructions

 

††††††††† 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 book, you may take the questions with you when you exit the room.

 

††††††††† The exam consists of three ten-minute questions.†† You have thirty minutes to complete the exam.Answer all questions.

 

††††††††† By submitting your exam answer 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 United States.The term "country" means a sovereign power that is neither a state of the United States nor the government of the United States.

 

††††††††† 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.
SHORT ANSWERS (30 minutes--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.Hubert and Wilma Katz were married and living in West Virginia where they had three children.One day Hubert ran off to Sin City, Nevada and got a job as a bartender.After living in Nevada for two years, Hubert commenced a civil aciton seeking a divorce and alimony from Wilma.He arranged for service of process both by certified mail and by personal delivery on Wilma at her home in West Virginia.

††††††††† Wilma tore up the papers and took no action.As a result, the Nevada court entered a decree of divorce and also entered a decree ordering Wilma to pay Hubert alimony in the amount of $500 per month until he got remarried.

††††††††† After one year, Hubert traveled back to West Virginia to collect the alimony that was due him pursuant to the Nevada decree.He filed a civil action in West Virginia to collect the alimony.Wilma files a motion to dismiss on the ground that they are still married and that the Nevada judgment is unenforceable.Please rule on the motion and explain.

 

††††††††† 2.Plastic Novelty Corp. manufactured childrenís drinking cups composed of molded plastic.One of its cups had a three-dimensional clown face with a protruding red nose.The corporation was incorporated under the law of East Dakota, and it manufactured the cups at its sole operating facility in East Dakota.

††††††††† Tom Presley bought one of the clown cups in the state of Confusion, and he gave the cup to Pinky for Pinkyís second birthday.Pinky subsequently suffered serious personal injuries when she bit off the plastic nose and choked on it.The injuries occurred in the state of Confusion.

††††††††† Pinky sues the manufacturer in Confusion state court.Under the law of East Dakota, a manufacturer is liable for injuries only if it failed to exercise reasonable care in the design and manufacturing of the product.Under the law of Confusion, a manufacturer is strictly liable for injuries caused by a defective product, and the clown cup is a defective product under Confusion law.

††††††††† Confusion law provides for punitive damages in defective product cases but East Dakota law does not.Both states permit recovery of compensatory damages, including pain and suffering, but Confusion has a statute that limits the recovery of damages for noneconomic injuries including pain and suffering to twice the amount of damages for economic loss (including medical expenses and lost income).

††††††††† Under the First Restatement, what law applies to the standard of liability and to the measure of recoverable damages?

 

††††††††† 3.Same facts.Sharon, a citizen of the state of Confusion,owns one share of stock in Plastic Novelty Corporation.After Pinky was injured, Sharon commenced a shareholder derivative action in Confusion state court in behalf of the corporation against the corporationís directors and officers.The suit alleges that the officers and directors violated fiduciary duties to the corporation, and the complaint demands damages for the loss in value experienced by the corporation stemming from the alleged defective product.

††††††††† Under the law of the state of East Dakota, officers and directors do not violate fiduciary duties to the corporation when they fail to prevent the manufacturing of a defective product.But under the law of Confusion, the failure to prevent the manufacturing of a defective product may establish a violation of fiduciary duties owed to the corporation.

††††††††† Under the law of East Dakota, the plaintiff a complaint commencing a derivative action against the corporation must be averred and signed by the plaintiff before a notary.Confusion has no similar requirement.The plaintiff did not sign the complaint before a notary.

††††††††† The corporation moves to dismiss on the ground that East Dakota law governs the claim and on the ground that the complaint was not properly notarized.Confusion follows the First Restatement.Rule on the motion and explain.