Vanderbilt Law Review

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In re "Tallmadge" related to the mode of distribution of the residuary estate of one Chadwick. The report of Winthrop, referee, which was confirmed by the Surrogate's Court of New York County, found that "the "renvoi" is no part of New York law," whereas thirty-one years later in "In re Schneider's Estate" it was held by Frankenthaler, Surrogate, also in the Surrogate's Court of New York County, that the "broad assertion in Matter of Tallmadge, supra, that the "renvoi" principle is not applicable in New York is not in accord with the earlier or later cases. The precise limits of its applicability are as yet undefined." The mutually irreconcilable, general expressions of opinion by two different judges of the Surrogate's Court of New York County in cases separated widely in point of time and differing widely in their circumstances have at least the merit of directing attention again to the perennially troublesome problem of the renvoi in the conflict of laws. If the problem is regarded as one that should not be limited to New York law, the first of the two judicial statements is too broadly expressed; and the second, although right in denying the validity of the first, is in itself too vague to be very helpful. Whether the decisions in the two cases were right or wrong is a question that can be answered only after an examination of the decisions in the light of all the relevant circumstances of the cases.