Conflict of Law Law and Legal Definition

Conflict of law refers to a situation in which both state and federal laws or courts, or laws of more than one state, may to a potential lawsuit or interpretation of a document and such laws are inconsistent or in conflict. The issue then arises regarding whether to file the lawsuit in a certain state or federal court. The situation of a conflict of laws may arise, for example, in a dead person's estate with property in several states, when business is transacted in several states, or when both state and federal laws apply to an issue. A related concept is the issue of federal preemption, which may provide that the federal statutes are exclusively controlling on the subject and that a federal court must try the case, but that it will apply the laws of the state where the controversy arose. In common law, conflict of laws includes choice of law, choice of jurisdiction and recognition of foreign judgments.