Personal Jurisdiction

Personal jurisdiction over foreign defendants in state courts is limited by state statutes and by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which the Supreme Court has interpreted to require that defendants have “minimum contacts” with the forum state. Personal jurisdiction in federal courts extends in most cases only as far as the jurisdiction of the state courts of the state in which they sit.  However, in limited situations governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2) and some federal statutes, personal jurisdiction in federal courts may extend beyond the limits of state court jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction in federal courts is limited by the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, the scope of which remains unclear. Whether customary international imposes general limits jurisdiction on jurisdiction to adjudicate is also unclear.

Recent Posts

A Primer on Personal Jurisdiction

Personal jurisdiction (or “authority to adjudicate”) refers to the authority of a court to make a binding determination with respect to a person or a thing. In personam jurisdiction refers to the authority to determine the rights or obligations of a person (including a business). In rem jurisdiction refers to the authority to determine ownership…

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Second Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc in Fuld v. PLO

Last week, the Second Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Fuld v. Palestinian Liberation Organization, an important personal jurisdiction decision that TLB has previously covered here, here, and here. The denial prompted a dissent by Judge Steven Menashi, joined in whole or in part by three other judges, which in turn prompted a concurrence by…

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Successor Jurisdiction and Anti-Terrorism Litigation

Transnational litigation often presents tricky questions of personal jurisdiction. Ongoing litigation in New York arising out of rocket attacks by Hizbollah does so in spades. This post reviews the recent New York Court of Appeals decision in Lelchook v. Société Générale de Banque au Liban SAL, answering a certified question posed by the Second Circuit…

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