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Modern Maryland Conflicts: Backing into the Twentieth Century One Hauch at a Time

49 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009  

Richard W. Bourne

University of Baltimore School of Law

Date Written: Fall 1993


This article outlines Maryland case law through the mid-1990's and argues that the state’s courts are on the verge of abandoning adherence to the territorialist choice of law rules of the First Restatement of Conflicts and adopting some sort of policy-oriented choice of law process blending the approaches suggested by the Second Restatement of Conflicts and Brainerd Currie’s writings on governmental interest analysis. Particular focus is given to a line of Maryland cases dealing with claims by tort victims against co-employees of a common employer - actions which Maryland permits but neighboring states forbid as a corollary to the policies of their workers’ compensation statute’s purpose of limiting employees to statutory claims against their employers when they suffer on-the-job injuries. The Maryland cases have enforced Maryland’s law and not limited the application of the Maryland rule to cases arising in Maryland or cases in which Maryland parties are opposed to one another; so long as either the claim or the employment relationship has significant relationship to Maryland, the cases suggest Maryland’s pro-plaintiff rule should be applied. Taking off from these cases, the article suggests that Maryland’s court of appeals is on the verge of a much-needed modernization of Maryland choice of law doctrine.

Keywords: Maryland, choice-of-law process, conflicts doctrine, multistate cases, forum shopping, Restatement of Conflict of Laws

JEL Classification: K19, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Bourne, Richard W., Modern Maryland Conflicts: Backing into the Twentieth Century One Hauch at a Time (Fall 1993). University of Baltimore Law Review, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1993. Available at SSRN:

Richard Bourne (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States
410-837-4508 (Phone)
410-837-4560 (Fax)

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