The Choice-of-Law Revolution: An Empirical Study

28 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2005


Beginning in 1963, U.S. conflict-of-laws principles began to alter drastically. Out its way out was the vested rights theory that produced fairly certain rules, such as the place-of-the-injury rule for tort cases, and on their way in were a host of modern theories including interest analysis, the Second Restatement of Conflicts' most significant relationship test and Leflar's choice-influencing considerations. This article studies the result patterns in 802 U.S. tort conflict-of-laws cases. It concludes that the modern theories are much more likely to produce results that favor plaintiffs, the application of local law and the law that favors local parties. The modern theories also largely work in a similar fashion, despite significant verbal differences between them.

Keywords: Conflict of laws, choice of law, interest analysis, vested rights

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K41

Suggested Citation

Borchers, Patrick Joseph, The Choice-of-Law Revolution: An Empirical Study. Available at SSRN:

Patrick Joseph Borchers (Contact Author)

Creighton University School of Law ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States
402-280-3009 (Phone)
402-280-3161 (Fax)


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