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 remedy?

5) How would the George case have turned out if the action was one originally available under the common law, rather than being a statutory action? What if the Alabama statute had said that the action had to be brought before an Alabama administrative court?

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 only-Alabama-jurisdiction provision?

8) Would it have been permissible under Hughes if the Georgia court had refused to entertain the plaintiff's Alabama action in George?