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More on choice of law and product liability

The considerable discussion kicked up by our co-blogger Michael Krauss's WSJ op-ed (see posts here and here) reminds me that since the Manhattan Institute began its work on legal policy more than twenty years ago, it's repeatedly called attention to choice-of-law principles as a key to understanding the problems of the modern liability system. An early high point came in 1988 when I had the chance to commission an article from one of our era's pre-eminent legal scholars, Michael McConnell, entitled "A Choice-of-Law Approach to Products-Liability Reform", which is currently available on JSTOR and has been widely cited in the years since. (It appeared in a volume I edited entitled New Directions in Liability Law, co-sponsored by the Academy of Political Science, which boasts an unusually wide range of contributions from prominent academics on all sides of the liability debate.) In that article, then-professor, now-judge McConnell suggested that one principled, coherent and predictable way of resolving conflicts would be to fix the applicable law as that of the state of first consumer sale.

Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Peter Huber has also written compellingly (not online, so far as I know) on choice-of-law issues. And my own chapter on the subject from The Litigation Explosion, Chapter 9 ("Have Lawsuit, Will Travel") is here as a PDF as part of our sampling of online chapters from that book.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.