Questions on Obligations to Provide a Forum
1) According to Hughes v. Fetter, "Wisconsin cannot escape [its]
constitutional obligation to enforce the rights and duties validly
created under the laws of other states by the simple device of removing
jurisdiction from courts otherwise competent." How is this statement
compatible with dismissal on public policy grounds? How is it
compatible with dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds? How
important was it in Hughes that the action was dismissed with
prejudice? How important was it that the Wisconsin didn't really have a
public policy against wrongful death actions?
2) Imagine that in Hughes the Wisconsin court, instead of dismissing
the action with prejudice on the grounds that the plaintiff's suit was
under Illinois law, had instead applied Wisconsin's own wrongful death
statute (which limits itself to in-state deaths) to the plaintiff's
action and dismissed it with prejudice for failure to state a claim.
Would that be permissible under Full Faith and Credit? If it
would, then how can what the Wisconsin state court actually did in
Hughes be impermissible under Full Faith and Credit? After all, the
result is exactly the same - the plaintiff loses with prejudice because
the accident happened in Illinois. Doesn't this show that Justice
Frankfurter is right?
3) Do you agree with Kramer's account of Hughes on p. 361 in the 7th
ed.and p. 357 in the 8th ed.? Is Kramer
right that in Broderick NJ was trying to do by subterfuge what
Wisconsin tried to to explicitly in Hughes?
4) George is in a sense the inverse of Hughes. Hughes was about
Wisconsin's power to refuse to take jurisdiction of foreign causes of
action. George is about Alabama's power to prohibit foreign
jurisdictions from taking Alabama causes of action. Is the court's
formalistic distinction between right and remedy persuasive? Can't the
Alabama legislature overcome George simply by specifying in the statute
that the Alabama jurisdiction provision is part of the right, not the
5) How would the George case have turned out if the action was one
originally available under the common law, rather than being a
action? What if the Alabama statute had said that the action
had to be brought before an Alabama administrative
6) Imagine that the plaintiff was a Georgia citizen. Does Pacific
Employers show that it is compatible with Full Faith and Credit for the
Georgia court to refuse to apply Alabama's only-Alabama-jurisdiction
provision? Does it matter that the Georgia court would be applying some
of the Alabama statute, but not others? Is Judge Friendly (in Pearson)
right that this a constitutional problem?
7) Imagine instead that the plaintiff is not from Georgia. Would the
case come out differently? If Georgia has no legitimate interest in
applying its own law, can it refuse to apply Alabama's
8) Would it have been permissible under Hughes if the Georgia court had
refused to entertain the plaintiff's Alabama action in George?