Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



What did legal realism bring to the conflict of laws? Why was the realist critique of the received wisdom so successful? And why, despite that success, is the realist movement in conflict of laws—and, indeed, the whole American choice of law revolution—seen as a failure?

In this Response, I suggest some brief answers to those questions. Realism, I suggest, is more successful than its critics think—though its project remains unfinished. A better understanding of realism's contributions can show us what work remains in the realist project.


Legal doctrine, choice of law, territoriality, formalism, Joseph Beale, Brainerd Currie, restatement

Publication Title

University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online

Publication Citation

163 U. Pa. L. Rev. Online 325 (2015)