What is the basic meaning of the Full Faith and Credit Clause?
Any matter, legal or factual, that was properly at issue under the pleadings in a state court's proceedings cannot be retried in another court, regardless of whether the particular point was in fact argued during the course of the earlier action.
What are the 3 steps to full faith and credit analysis?
1. Have the full faith and credit requirements been met?
2. Are there any defenses to full faith and credit?
3. What are the effects of recognizing a sister state judgment?
What are the three requirements of full faith and credit?
1. proper jurisdiction
2. judgment on the merits
3. final judgment
Is a judgment sustaining a general demurrer for failure to state a claim considered "on the merits"?
Only if the plaintiff could not amend his pleading to state a cause of action
Is a default judgment considered "on the merits"?
Is a consent judgment considered "on the merits"?
When considering whether the three requirements of full faith and credit are met, whose law is applied?
The state that entered the judgment
What are the 3 defenses to full faith and credit?
1. Penal judgments
2. Equitable Defenses against Judgment in Rendering State (extrinsic fraud)
3. Inconsistent judgments (usu. last judgment is recognized)
Must a state enforce a judgment that it considers against its own public policy, assuming all the requirements of full faith and credit have been met?
What are the two basic questions to be answered when considering the effect of recognizing a sister state's judgment?
1. Res judicata effects
2. Who will be bound by the former judgment
What is the doctrine of merger?
A successful plaintiff's cause of action is merged into the judgment, and that plaintiff cannot maintain another suit on the same cause of action. Netiher can the defendant relitigate the merits.
What is the doctrine of bar?
A losing plaintiff is barred from suing the defendant again for the same cause of action.
What are the three tests for determining whether a second suit involves the same cause of action?
1. infringement of same right
2. same supporting facts
3. same legal principles
What is another name for collateral estoppel?
What is issue preclusion?
When the cause of action is different, and thus not prohibited by the doctrines of merger/bar, but the discrete issue was resolved in the first litigation and so the resolution of that issue will be binding on the parties in the second suit.
What are the two requirements of collateral estoppel?
1. actually litigated in first case
2. essential to outcome of first case
Can a stranger rely on collateral estoppel?
Traditionally, no (the mutuality requirement); but the modern rule is evolving
Are the parties in the first action the only people who will be bound by recognition of the action in a sister state?
NO- privies are also bound.
What is a privy in action in the full faith and credit context?
a person whose interests have been represented by a party to the action
Must erroneous judgments that nonetheless meet all the requirements of full faith and credit be enforced?
What is the UEFJA?
Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act allows judgment creditor to file authenticated judgment in recognizing state, giving it full effect as if it had been rendered in that state.
Whose law governs the method of enforcement?
The recognizing state
Are federal courts subject to the same full faith and credit requirements as sister states?
Yes, by a federal statute
Does the full faith and credit clause extend to decisions by administrative tribunals?
What is the principle of comity?
A voluntary recognition of the judgment of a foreign country
What two elements does a court consider in whether to recognize a foreign judgment on the comity principle?
1. Did the foreign court have jurisdiction?
2. Were fair procedures used in adjudicating the case?
What is an "ex parte" divorce?
A divorce based on the domicile of only one spouse
Will ex parte divorces be granted full faith and credit in a sister state?
Yes, but domicile must be bona fide
Who bears the burden of proof in contesting the recognition of a divorce decree on the basis of non-bona-fide domicile?
The person attacking the presumption of legitimacy
Can a divorce fail to meet full faith & credit req. on jurisdictional basis even if both spouses consented to divorce in the rendering state?
Yes- SUBJECT matter jurisdiction only exists of one of the spouses is domiciled in the state
What 4 types of people are estopped from collaterally attacking another state's divorce decree?
1. parties to prior action
2. privies of parties (like children)
3. strangers (no standing in rendering, no standing in recognizing)
4. remarriage in reliance
What is the doctrine of divisible divorce?
An ex parte divorce can grant the divorce, but is not effective regarding the property or support rights of the parties
What is the exception to an ex parte divorce court's inability to award property or support rights?
In rem and Quasi in rem proceedings- the court may adjudicate both partie's rights to marital property located in the rendering state + minimum contacts w/ defendant
When is a domicile applied by operation of law rather than by choice?
What is a child's domicile?
follows custodial parents
What is an incompetent's domicile?
Either the parents OR the last capacitively-chosen domicile
What is the domicile of a corporation?
the state of incorporation
Is the exclusive remedy of a state worker's compensation statute entitled to full faith and credit in another state?
The forum may apply its own OR another state's law, as long as the chosen law is supported by substantial factual contacts with the case.
What is the basic answer for an exam question based on either due process or full faith and credit limitations on a state's choice of law?
If forum state has any significant contacts w/ parties or subject matter whereby it has a legitimate interest in regulating the outcome of the litigation, it is not constitutionally bound to apply the sister state's law.
What are three common statutory limitations on choice of law?
1. borrowing statutes
3. federal statutes
What are the three most common approaches to choice of law questions?
1. vested rights approach
2. most significant relationship approach
3. governmental interests approach
What are the three steps to the vested rights approach to conflict of law questions?
1. Characterize the area of substantive law
2. Determine the particular choice of law rule
3. Localize the rule to be applied
Whose law applies to procedural issues in a choice of law situation?
Always the forum state.
What are the 4 policies underlying the vested rights approach to conflict of law questions?
3. discourages forum shopping
What are the two steps to the most significant relationship approach to conflict of law questions?
1. Consider connecting facts (in proportion to their importance to the issue)
2. Consider policy-oriented principles (seven)
What are the seven principles to be considered in the most significant relationship approach to conflict of laws principles? (CONFEDS)
1. Needs of interstate system
2. Forum policies
3. Other jurisdiction's policies
4. Expectations of parties
5. Substantive law policies
7. Difficulty applying
What is the default rule under the governmental interest approach to conflict of laws questions?
The forum state applies its own law
When will a court using the governmental interest approach to conflict of laws analysis consider whether to apply another states law?
On request of a party
What is a "false conflict" situation under the governmental interest approach to conflict of laws?
Only one state has an interest in having its own law applied (that state wins)
what is a "true conflict" situation under the governmental interest approach to conflict of laws?
Both the forum state and another state have an interest in applying their own law
What 2 things will a forum following the governmental interest approach to conflict of laws do if it finds a true conflict?
1. reconsider its own interest
2. apply its law or a modified hybrid of its and the other state's law if it finds its interest must be served
What is a "disinterested forum" situation under the governmental interests approach to conflict of laws questions?
Two or more states have a legitimate interest in applying their own law, but none of the interested states is the forum
What will a forum following the governmental interest approach to conflict of laws do when it is confronted with a disinterested forum problem?
1. dismiss the case via forum non conveniens or
2. keep the case and:
a. make its own value judgment on whose law is better or
b. apply the law of the state that most closely resembles its own
What is the "unprovided for case" under the governmental approach in conflicts of law analysis, and what is the solution to it?
No state has a legitimate interest in having its own law applied because the law of the particular state will not serve any interest of that state. Forum will usu. apply its own law.
What are the 5 considerations in the "better rule" approach to conflict of laws? (Predictable FEMA)
2. maintenance of interstate order
3. ease of application
4. forum's interests
5. application of the better rule
What approach to conflict of laws analysis has Oklahoma adopted for torts cases?
Most significant relationship
What are the 4 specific contacts that Oklahoma courts will evaluate when they consider the first part of the most significant relationship test? (CRIP)
Will Oklahoma always apply the law of the chosen state across all elements of a tort case?
No, different relationships may be more significant to different elements.
Whose law will determine which worker's compensation statute is applicable?
usu. the forum
Will parties be allowed to choose worker's compensation law in their employment agreement?
Yes, as long as it is reasonable and does not interfere with the policy of another state that could take jurisdiction.
May a worker recover worker's compensation in more than one state?
Yes, but the first award must be credited against the second award
What are three reasons why an express contractual choice of law provision might NOT be recognized?
1) public policy
2) no reasonable basis
3) lack of true consent (adhesion)
What is the default choice of law rule for contracts in Oklahoma court?
The law of the place where the contract is to be performed (according to statute)
What is the second-place default choice of law rule for contracts in Oklahoma court?
Place of formation
Are choice of law provisions in insurance contracts generally recognized?
No, the law of the insured's domicile is the most likely law applied.
What law governs a contract of suretyship?
the law o the principal obligation
What law governs transportation contracts?
the law of the place of departure
What is the Rule of Validation?
the state's law that serves to uphold the contract and thereby validate the justified expectations of the parties will be applied
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