California

Saying Yes to the World, But No to Personal Jurisdiction

The Northern District of California (Judge Susan Illston) recently dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction a suit brought by California residents against the German airline Lufthansa for harms emanating from the plaintiffs’ experience boarding a flight in Saudi Arabia en route to San Francisco. As the court noted in Doe v. Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft, the…

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A Legislative Fix for the Cassirer Case?

Regular TLB readers may be familiar with the Cassirer case seeking to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro that was stolen by the Nazis and is now in the possession of a Spanish museum. The U.S. Supreme Court held in Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation (2022) that federal courts must apply state choice-of-law rules to…

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Ninth Circuit Decides Cassirer in Favor of Spain

In 2005, Claude Cassirer sued a state-owned museum in Spain to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro that the Nazis stole from his grandmother. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court on a choice-of-law question, and the Court held that state, rather than federal, choice-of-law rules should determine the applicable law in cases under…

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Financial Hardship and Forum Selection Clauses

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that a forum selection clause should not be enforced when “trial in the contractual forum will be so gravely difficult and inconvenient” that the plaintiff “will for all practical purposes be deprived of his day in court.” The financial status of the plaintiff is obviously a factor that…

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Cassirer on Remand: Considering the Laws of Other Interested States

Claude Cassirer brought suit in federal court in California eighteen years ago against the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum of Madrid, Spain, to recover a painting by Camille Pissarro that was stolen from his grandmother by the Nazis during World War II.  After a reversal and remand from the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, the case is…

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New Scholarship on the Hague Service Convention

Thomas G. Vanderbeek recently published a note in the Vanderbilt Law Review that considers whether and to what extent parties should be permitted to “contract around” the Hague Service Convention (HSC). The conventional wisdom holds that the best way to avoid the HSC is to appoint a local agent to receive service of process. Once…

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How California Broke the Hague Service Convention

The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters sets forth the rules for serving process on a defendant in another country that is party to the Convention. Under the terms of the Convention, service by mail is not permitted if the nation where the foreign defendant…

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