Jones Day - lexology.com
Meir Feder and Eric E. Murphy - July 1 2011
On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court issued a pair of important decisions limiting state courts' personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants, Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown, No. 10-76 (U.S. June 27, 2011), and J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro, No. 09-1343 (U.S. June 27, 2011). The Court addressed the two basic categories of personal jurisdiction—general jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction—and endorsed narrower limits on both than have been applied by many lower courts. The general jurisdiction decision, Goodyear, significantly clarified what has been a murky legal standard, and did so in a way that presents significant new opportunities for corporations to avoid jurisdiction in improper forums. In the specific jurisdiction case, McIntyre, the Court's inability to agree on a majority opinion injected additional confusion into an already unsettled area.
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Supreme Court limits personal jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants