Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

This article attempts to articulate the due process test for general in personam jurisdiction. It frames the question as what gives a state sufficiently plenary power over a person that the state may adjudicate claims against the person regardless of where the claims arose, and it answers that question in terms of a home-state relationship between the defendant and the forum state. Written for a roundtable on the upcoming Supreme Court case of DaimlerChrysler AG v. Bauman, the article urges the Court to state the home-state test for general jurisdiction more clearly than it did two years ago in Goodyear Dunlop Tires v. Brown. In Goodyear, while the Court strongly suggested a home-state test, it did so ambiguously. The home-state test makes sense from the perspective of the justification for general jurisdiction and its separateness from specific jurisdiction. A corporation should be subject to general jurisdiction in the corporation’s home state, defined as the state of incorporation and principal place of business. One implication of the test is that, for purposes of general jurisdiction, a subsidiary’s contacts should not be imputed to its corporate parent on an agency theory. Also, the home-state test provides a basis to jettison the reasonableness prong that some courts have applied to general jurisdiction.

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