This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Cases concerning the sale of intoxicating liquors often involve the topic of the conflict of laws. In discussing this topic an important distinction is to be noted. There are cases involving the sale of intoxicating liquors, which are confessedly governed by the law of a state where such sales are legal, which are nevertheless held to be illegal because intended to aid in the violation of the law of another state.1 With this principle we have nothing to do here. The question to be considered in this connection is solely whether the law of the state in which such sale is legal, or that in which such sale is illegal, controls. The general rule is that the law of the state where the title of the property passes from the vendor to the vendee controls.2 This is ordinarily the place of delivery of the property.3 Hence if such sales are made where valid and title passes, the fact that the vendor acting for vendee delivers the liquor to a common carrier for transportation to a state where such sale is invalid does not make the law of the latter state control.4 So if intoxicating liquor is to be delivered by the vendor free on board in Wisconsin where such contract is legal, the fact that it is to be shipped into Iowa where such contract is illegal does not make such contract illegal.5 On the other hand, if by the contract between the parties delivery is to be made to the vendee at his domicile, the vendor causing the goods to be transported to that place by a carrier the law o^ such place controls.6 If a conditional agreement for a sale is made in one state, to become a binding contract only when the prospective vendee shall make an order, a sale made sub-sequently in another state pursuant to such order is controlled by the law of the latter state and not that of the former.7 So if an order for intoxicating liquors is solicited by an agent where such contract is illegal, but does not become a binding contract until acceptance by the principal of the agent where such contract is legal, the law of the latter state controls and the contract is legal.8 This principle applies where the order is given direct to the agent and under his direction it is held until the vendee sends in his order direct to the vendor,9 and to cases where the vendee does not know that the agent has no authority to make a binding contract as long as neither the agent nor his principal attempt to mislead him.10 In some jurisdictions the act of sending an agent into the state where the resale of intoxicating liquors is unlawful is held to be such aid to the illegal intent as to make the original sale illegal.11 As said before,12 this rule does not involve the question of the law controlling. When the original Interstate Commerce Law was in force a contract appointing an agent to sell intoxicating liquors in the original package was valid even in states where such sale in general was forbidden,13 since a state could not forbid the importation of articles of interstate commerce,14 and the state statutes to that effect were therefore unconstitutional. Under the "Wilson act" which provides that liquors transported into any state shall on arrival there be subject to its laws, and shall not be exempt because in the original package, it has been held that if orders are taken in one state, and the vendor ships such liquor in from another state the law of the former state determines his rights.15
14 Kendriek v. Kyle, 78 Miss. 278; 98 So. 951.
15 Kroegher v. Colonization Co., l9 Fed. 641.
16 Binghamton Trust Co. v. Au-ten, 68 Ark. 299; 82 Am. St. Rep. 295; 57 S. W. 1105.
1 See Sec. 532.
2 J. & J. Eager Co. v. Burke, 74 Conn. 534; 51 Atl. 544; Fred Miller Brewing £ & v. De France, 90 la.
395; 57 N. W. 959; Portsmouth Brewing Co. v. Smith, 155 Mass. 100; 28 N. E. 1130; P. Schoenhofen Brewing Co. v. Whipple (Neb.), 89 N. W. 751; Bacon v. Hunt, 72 Vt. 98; 47 Atl. 394.
3 Lewis v. McCabe, 49 Conn. 141; 44 Am. Rep. 217; Weil v. Golden, 141 Mass. 364; 6 N. E. 229.
4 Brown v. Wieland, 116 la. 711; 61 L. R. A. 417; 89 N. W. 17;
Engs v. Priest, 65 la. 232; 21 N. W. 580; Sullivan v. Sullivan, 70 Mich. 583; 38 N. W. 472; Bollinger v. Wilson, 76 Minn. 262; 77 Am. St. Rep. 046; 79 N. W. 109.
5 Bollinger v. Wilson, 76 Minn. 262; 77 Am. St. Rep. 646; 79 N. W. 109.
6 Weil v. Golden, 141 Mass. 364; 6 N. E. 229.
7 Fred Miller Brewing Co. v. De France, 90 la. 395; 57 N. W. 959.
8 .J. & J. Eager Co. v. Burke. 74 Conn. 534; 51 Atl. 544; Brown v. Wieland, 116 la. 711; 61 L. R. A.
417; 89 X. W. 17; Sachs v. Garner, 111 la. 424; 82 N. W. 1007; Fegler v. Shipman, 33 la. 194; 11 Am. Rep. 118; Bacon v. Hunt, 72 Vt. 98; 47 Atl. 394.
9 Bacon v. Hunt, 72 Vt. 98; 47 Atl. 394.
10 Sachs v. Garner, 111 la. 424; 82 N. W. 1007.
11 Backnian v. Wright, 27 Vt. 187: 65 Am. Dec. 187; McConihe v. McMann, 27 Vt. 95. So by statute in Iowa. Tolman v. Johnson, 43 la. 127.
12 See ante, this section.