The 13th Edition and a Teacher’s Manual will be published in ample time for fall 2009 classes. The 13th edition continues the tradition of careful scholarship and attention to educational objectives begun with the first edition in 1936. The conflict of laws has experienced vast changes in the seventy three years since the first edition of this book. The new edition joins its predecessors’ attention to the needs of both teacher and student. Foreign law not only is of growing importance in a global economy but also holds important lessons for us as we reconsider our own law. With its extensive comparative materials the book facilitates appraisal of both domestic and foreign approaches.
The new edition retains the order of presentation in the 12th edition, which has proven to be an important aid in mastering the materials. Choice-of-law issues take on added meaning after the student understands when and why a court may proceed against a nonresident defendant, appreciates that a court with jurisdiction over the defendant may nevertheless defer to a more appropriate forum, and has studied the requirements imposed by the United States Constitution on interstate recognition of judgments and on choice of law.
Important features are an emphasis on comparative coverage and extensive notes and comments to guide study and provide background for class discussion.
A Documentary Appendix greatly facilitates comparative study. The Appendix contains the major European Union Council Regulations on procedural and substantive issues that are the focus of the book. Detailed commentary accompanies each Regulation. The choice of-law materials contain many excerpts from and references to the laws of other countries, including the comprehensive Japanese conflict-of-laws code, which took effect on January 1, 2007.
Chapters 1 and 2 introduce the student to the major issues that subsequent chapters explore in detail. Chapter 3 explores judicial jurisdiction. There is a new emphasis on what is required to satisfy the specific jurisdiction requirement that the action “arises out of or relates to” the defendant’s contacts with the forum. A 2007 opinion of the Supreme Court of Texas discusses the different standards applied by courts to this due process issue. That new principal case also illustrates how difficult it is to decide a case under those standards.
At an early point in the choice-of-law materials (chapter 7), the book explores the meaning of “procedural” in the context of the conflict of laws. This prepares the student for discussion of court opinions throughout the choice-of-law chapters that affix the procedural label to an issue. Chapter 8 then focuses on development of choice-of-law theory and its application, with attention to issues of great current importance, such as choice of law in national class actions. A new section explores a solution to choice-of-law problems by constructing a new substantive rule that minimizes interference with the policies of the states that have contacts with the parties and the transaction. A 2006 opinion of the Supreme Court of California illustrates this approach. The choice-of-law materials prepare the student to deal with current approaches and to assist future development of this swiftly changing subject.
Chapter 9 adds a new section on the extraterritorial application of constitutional rights and includes as a principal case the Supreme Court’s decision extending habeas corpus rights to the Guantanamo detainees.