Personal Jurisdiction

Personal Jurisdiction Gone Wrong: Barring U.S. Consumers from Suing Foreign Carmakers for Design Defects

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice emphasized (most recently in 2021) that the ability to sue a carmaker where the plaintiff lives and was injured is a quintessential exercise of personal jurisdiction. In Sellers v. Volkswagen AG, a Mississippi resident injured in Mississippi sued Volkswagen in Mississippi. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District…

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More Evidence that Helms-Burton is Backfiring

In 1996, Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act to strengthen sanctions against Cuba and to deter foreign companies from investing there. To discourage foreign investment, Title III created a civil remedy allowing U.S. nationals to sue any person who “traffics” in property confiscated by the Cuban government for damages in an amount three times the value…

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Fifth Circuit Issues En Banc Opinion on Personal Jurisdiction over Foreign Defendants

The Fifth Circuit has issued an important en banc opinion on foreign defendants, personal jurisdiction, and the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause.  The court held in Douglass v. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha that the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause mirrors the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause, except that the relevant sovereign is the United States…

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When the U.S. Sues Foreign Manufacturers

What if Robert Nicastro had been the U.S. Government? After J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, U.S. citizens harmed by products manufactured by foreign companies may not be able to sue in U.S. courts for lack of personal jurisdiction. In United States v. Aquatherm GmBH, a foreign manufacturer had similarly structured its sales into the…

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When Terrorists Default, Should Courts Consider Personal Jurisdiction?

A case from last week, Kaplan v. Hezbollah, illustrates the intricacies of consent-based personal jurisdiction in the context of default judgments and raises questions about the due process rights of terrorist organizations (and other unpopular defendants). U.S. citizens injured by Hezbollah missile attacks in Israel sued under the Antiterrorism Act (ATA). Hezbollah did not enter…

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A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

[Editors: This post is one in a series of Primers on topics in transnational litigation. Primers on each of the topics listed in the Topics menu are planned, and some already appear on the relevant topic pages.] The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the…

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Non-Signatories, Forum Selection Clauses, and Personal Jurisdiction in the SDNY

Over the past few decades, U.S. courts have adopted a new legal test that makes it easier to bind individuals to forum selection clauses in contracts they did not sign. This test posits that a non-signatory is bound by a forum selection clause if it is so “closely related” to the signatory that it was “foreseeable”…

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Foreign Defendants and the Future of Personal Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in yet another personal jurisdiction case (the eighth such case in just over ten years). Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Rwy. Co. has no transnational facts, but it is highly relevant for the future of transnational litigation in U.S. courts. Corporate registration statutes, like the one being challenged in Mallory,…

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New Article Argues that the Helms-Burton Act Has Backfired

In an article recently posted on SSRN, Gergana Sivrieva surveys cases filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act for trafficking in expropriated property. She shows that, surprisingly, the principal defendants have not been foreign companies investing in Cuba but rather U.S. companies with only attenuated connections to such property. Congress passed the Helm-Burton Act…

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Corporate Registration and Jurisdiction in Transnational Litigation

When companies register to do business in a U.S. state, are they granting state courts the power to exercise jurisdiction over them for claims arising outside the state—and perhaps outside the country? The answer to this question is not an easy one. The effect of business registration is hotly contested in the United State, and…

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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 Coyle

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

Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge

University of Georgia School of Law
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Linda J. Silberman

New York University School of Law
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Geneviève Saumier

McGill University Faculty of Law
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David L. Sloss

Santa Clara University School of Law
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Philippa Webb

King's College London
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Robert Kry

MoloLamken LLP
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Ellen Nohle

Yale Law School
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Chris Ewell

EarthRights International
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Oona A. Hathaway

Yale Law School
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