Supreme Court Changing Where You Can Be Sued

By on August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

In three decisions over the past five years, the Supreme Court has curtailed the power of U.S. courts over out-of-state and international defendants by restricting both general and specific jurisdiction. Litigation is being routed to where the claim arose or to the corporation’s home turf. Potential litigants now have a useful rule of thumb, say the authors of this Today’s General Counsel article: “If a plaintiff asserts a theory of jurisdiction in the plaintiff’s chosen state that would also result in jurisdiction in all 50 states, that theory is probably unconstitutional.” Plaintiffs can be expected to develop new jurisdictional theories or workarounds, as they field these three decisions, and some have already had limited success, but at this point it’s clear, say the writers, that the Supreme Court “has interpreted the Constitution to favor global commerce and local litigation. Despite some resistance from various courts and plaintiffs, most lower courts are implementing this directive and limiting defendants’ exposure to suit in far-flung locales.”

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Today's General Counsel

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