Cairns v. Franklin Mint Co.

292 F.3d 1139 (2002)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Cairns v. Franklin Mint Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
292 F.3d 1139 (2002)

Facts

Beginning in 1981, the Franklin Mint Company (Franklin) (defendant) made and sold collectibles bearing the name and likeness of then Princess Diana of the United Kingdom. The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund (fund) (plaintiff) was formed after Diana’s 1999 death to raise money for charities that Diana supported during her life. With the permission of Diana’s estate (estate) (plaintiff), the fund authorized certain parties to use Diana’s name and likeness for commercial purposes. Franklin continued to sell its Diana-related products despite failing to obtain such authorization, leading the fund and estate to sue Franklin for, among other things, violating Diana’s postmortem right of publicity under California law. Franklin moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the law of Great Britain (where Diana had been domiciled) applied and that Great Britain did not recognize a postmortem right of publicity. The district court agreed and dismissed the complaint. The district court based its decision on the facts that (1) California categorized a postmortem publicity right as a personal-property right, (2) California’s then-existing statute recognizing a postmortem publicity right did not contain a choice-of-law provision, and (3) California’s default choice-of-law statute for personal-property claims required application of the law of Diana’s domicile. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. In 2000, California amended its postmortem right-of-publicity statute to state that the statute applied to cases in which liability, damages, and other remedies arose from acts that occurred in California. However, the statute continued to categorize a postmortem right of publicity as a personal-property right, and California’s default statute regarding choice of law for personal-property claims remained unchanged. The fund and estate then moved to reinstate their postmortem right-of-publicity claim, arguing that the amended statute was a choice-of-law provision that mandated the application of California law to their claim. The district court disagreed, ruling that British law continued to apply. The fund and estate appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pregerson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership