Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Previews of Coming Attractions

Maryland follows the so-called lex loci delicti rule with respect to choosing the law to apply in tort actions. That is, the courts will apply the law of the jurisdiction where the wrong occurred. However, it is unclear where the "wrong" occurs in cases of fraud or negligent misrepresentation if the alleged wrong and alleged loss occur in different jurisdictions. In the case of Hardwire, LLC v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Judge Bennett certified that question and sent it to the Court of Appeals. He also certified the similar question of what jurisdiction's substantive law governs in the case of tortious interference with economic relationships where the wrongful act and the plaintiff's injury occur in two different jurisdictions.

Choice of law issues presented in cases such as Hardwire are taking on new importance due to the rapidly falling telecommunications prices and the growth of the internet. Even as late as fifteen years ago, most business activity could be tied to a specific physical location. For instance, business deals, even if negotiated via fax or letter, were typically concluded at a discrete place. That is no longer the case, since negotiations are often concluded electronically with even the closing of a deal taking place in more than one location.


Anonymous said...

Maryland actually follows the Lex Luther Rule. The man who is a bat gets the fat rat unless, of course, it is wearing a hat.

Know your law.

Brandon said...

Great site, I've bookmarked your blog.

free business cards