Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Depecage Definition:

(USA) The process of cutting up a case into individual issues, each subject to a separate choice-of-law analysis.

Related Terms: Conflict of Laws

In Youtie, Justice O'Neill wrote:

"Because choice of law analysis is issue-specific, different states' laws may apply to different issues in a single case, a principle known as depecage."

In Townsend v Roebuck Sears, Justice Freeman of the Supreme Court of Ohio wrote:

"[T]he process of depecage ... refers to the process of cutting up a case into individual issues, each subject to a separate choice-of-law analysis...."

 Justice Gallagher of the Appellate Court of Illinois, in Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway:

"Depecage is the process of applying rules of different states on the basis of the precise issue involved. The doctrine of depecage involves the separation of issues and the application of a distinct choice-of-law analysis to each issue."

That same court,  Justice Fitzgerald-Smith writing for the court in Gregory v Beazer East:

"Depecage is the process of cutting up a case into individual issues, each subject to a separate choice-of-law analysis. This is in line with the approach taken in Illinois ... which focuses on a selective, issue-oriented approach to determining choice-of-law for a particular issue presented in a cause of action."

REFERENCES:

  • Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway v. ABC-NACO, 906 NE 2d 83 (2009)
  • Gregory v. Beazer East, 892 NE 2d 563 (2008)
  • Townsend v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 879 NE 2d 893
  • Youtie v. Macy's Retail Holding, Inc., 626 F. Supp. 2d 511 (United States District Court, 2009; at footnote #7). See also Donovan v. Idant Laboratories, 625 F. Supp. 2d 256 (2009)

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