220.01 Conflict of Laws

This course in legal reasoning highlights the central problematic of conflict of laws: the rule of law and the specter of judicial activism. It does so by way of a systematic exploration of the judicial methods and patterns of legal argument used to decide cases in which the relevant facts of the dispute are connected with multiple jurisdictions. The first half of the course is focused on domestic conflicts issues in the United States, mostly dealing with choice of law questions in tort, contract, and family law. This study examines the full range of approaches that developed in the courts between the time of Joseph Beale and rise of the Second Restatement on Conflict of Laws. The second half of the course turns from domestic to transnational conflicts problems, and in particular, brings a focus to the topic of extraterritorial jurisdiction. This study survey US federal court decisions on extraterritorial choice of law, including questions in constitutional law, civil rights law, environmental law, labor law, antitrust law, securities law, and human rights law. 

Grade is 20% class participation, 80% paper.

Fall 2023

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Research and/or analytical paper
Class participation
Justin Desautels-Stein
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW-220-01-F23
Email list: LAW-220-01-F23@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - LLM-ICL
Course Areas of Practice