Extraterritoriality

Section 230 and the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

The Ninth Circuit opinion in Gonzalez v. Google (2021) raises important questions about how the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to immunity defenses invoked by social media companies under 47 U.S.C. § 230.Section 230 shields internet companies from civil liability for user-generated content hosted on their platforms. Gonzalezholds, effectively, that there is no conceivable application of…

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A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the U.S. Constitution, international treaties, customary international law, federal statutes, federal rules, and federal common law (both preemptive and non-preemptive)—but also, state statutes, state rules, and state common law. This primer focuses on the underappreciated role of state…

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Ninth Circuit Deepens Split over Extraterritoriality of Civil RICO

In a recent decision, Smagin v. Yegiazaryan, the Ninth Circuit weighed in on a circuit split involving the extraterritorial application of RICO’s private right of action. In determining whether there is injury to business or property in the United States, the court rejected the Seventh Circuit’s residency-based test, siding instead with the Second and Third…

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District Court Holds that Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act Does Not Apply Extraterritorially

In a recent decision, Eichhorn-Burkhard v. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., a district court in Kansas (Judge Julie Robinson) held that the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) does not apply extraterritorially to a U.S. company’s sales of dog food in Europe. The case provides a nice illustration of how U.S. courts apply the presumption against extraterritoriality to…

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Extraterritorial Jurisdiction and Conflict of Laws

In a forthcoming Article, I take the Supreme Court’s recent jurisprudence on the presumption against extraterritoriality and view it through the lens of conflict of laws. In so doing, I attempt to show how the presumption mirrors features of conflicts doctrine and makes some of the same mistakes conflict law already has made. This list…

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The ATS Clarification Act Can Protect Human Rights and Level the Playing Field for U.S. Businesses

As previously reported on TLB, Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Brown (D-OH) recently introduced the Alien Tort Statute Clarification Act (ATSCA), which, if passed, will clarify the extraterritorial reach of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and expand the statute’s jurisdiction to cover all defendants “present in” the United States. The ATS is one of our nation’s…

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Doe v. Meta and the Future of the Communications Decency Act

Two law firms recently filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Rohingya refugees in the United States seeking at least $150 billion in compensatory damages from Meta (formerly Facebook).  The plaintiffs in Doe v. Meta allege that Meta’s algorithms were designed to promote hate speech and misinformation about the Rohingya, a Muslim-minority population in Myanmar…

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Court Holds that ATS Claims for Medical Experimentation Are Not Impermissibly Extraterritorial

In a recent decision, Estate of Alvarez v. The Johns Hopkins University, a federal district court held that claims under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) based on nonconsensual medical experiments in Guatemala were not impermissibly extraterritorial. Although the district court ultimately granted summary judgment for the defendants on other grounds, the decision is significant because…

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New Bill Would Amend the Alien Tort Statute to Apply Extraterritorially

Last week, Senators Dick Durbin and Sherrod Brown introduced a new bill, the Alien Tort Statute Clarification Act (ATSCA), that would amend the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) to apply extraterritorially. Since 1980, plaintiffs have relied on the ATS to bring international human rights claims in federal court against individuals and corporations. But since 2013, the…

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Throwback Thursday: Joseph Story and the Comity of Nations

One of the most influential books on transnational litigation was written nearly two centuries ago by a sitting Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, first published in 1834, synthesized foreign and domestic cases regarding conflict of laws and the enforcement of foreign judgments. Story endorsed international comity…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John F. Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Matt Slovin

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Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
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Will Moon

University of Maryland
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William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
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Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
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Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Ben Köhler

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
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Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
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