Hilton Teaches 10 Ways to Beat a Choice of Law Clause – Now Available for Self-Study Continuing Legal Education Credit

Few lawyers enjoy choice of law. But are they missing opportunities for their clients?

Many states (including Ohio) limit punitive damages—and plaintiff’s lawyers often miss the chance to get the court to apply other states’ law to that aspect of the case. Other lawyers, assuming a choice of law clause in a contract is enforceable, miss ways to bypass it entirely.

The Ohio State Bar Association has recently released Jonathan Hilton’s well-attended CLE seminar on avoiding Choice of Law clauses as a one-hour virtual self-study course. In the course, Hilton lays out ten litigation tactics you can put into practice right away to get your clients out of unfavorable choice of law provisions. He tears apart clauses commonly copied into wills, trusts, divorce decrees, operating agreements and commercial contracts — and shows you how to argue that some other state’s law applies to your case.

Here’s a sneak preview of the ten tips:

  1. — Argue Party Conduct is at Issue, Not Interpretation
  2. — Use Dépeçage to Change the Law of Damages or Veil Piercing
  3. — Find a Controlling State Statute
  4. — Argue Ohio’s Law is to Apply Another State’s Law
  5. — Boomerang Back with Renvoi
  6. — Move Quickly for Preliminary Relief
  7. — Claim Another Agreement Controls
  8. — Go the “Substance vs. Procedure” Route
  9. — Argue Unenforceability – The “No Substantial Relationship” Test.
  10. — Public Policy: The “Fundamental Policy” of a “More-Related” State

Hilton also shares his thoughts on how to draft a “bulletproof” choice of law clause. You can download the PowerPoint slides for free here.