Personal jurisdiction has always been a thorny and fact-specific topic in civil procedure. But the increasing complexity of transactions – development and manufacture of products across many borders, complicated chains of distribution, and the sale of products or services anywhere over the internet – has made it difficult for due process to keep up with technological and business advances. Courts can exercise jurisdiction over defendants only in locations where constitutional due process protections allow. In January, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two consolidated cases to address the limits of specific personal jurisdiction. See Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct., Case No. 19-368; Ford Motor Co. v. Bandemer, Case No. 19-369. These cases likely will clarify the limits of specific personal jurisdiction and whether conduct within the forum state needs to be the conduct that caused a plaintiff’s injury. Oral argument originally was set for April 27, 2020, but has been postponed due to COVID-19.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Will Address Personal Jurisdiction After State Courts Interpret BMS Decision

It has been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court (BMS). In BMS, the Court held that state courts lacked personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants relating to state-law mass tort claims that had no connection to the forum state. We have followed this decision closely on the blog here and here.
Continue Reading On the Road Again: Does Bristol-Myers Squibb Limit Courts’ Jurisdiction Over Claims by Out-of-State Class Members?

We have written extensively on this blog about personal jurisdiction and how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California changed the rules regarding specific jurisdiction.
Continue Reading Home Is Where the Forum State Legislates It Is: Pennsylvania Courts Find “Consent” to General Jurisdiction When Companies Register to Do Business There

In two recent appellate court decisions, the California Court of Appeal refused to exert general jurisdiction over the foreign defendants.  These decisions provide important guidance for foreign entities with California contacts regarding the ability of California courts to assert jurisdiction over them in civil lawsuits.
Continue Reading California Courts Refuse to Exert General Jurisdiction Over Foreign Defendants