Procedure Class Notes
Today, we’ll start World-Wide Volkswagen and take a peek at Harrods (handout).
insurance company didn’t pay out a claim.
The beneficiary sued in
Mere contracting is not enough to establish personal jurisdiction. There must be more in the way of contacts. As we move beyond McGee and Hanson, we’ll see the Court sort of back off from having such limited contacts constitute jurisdiction.
gone over the facts. Mrs. Donner enjoys
the benefits of her
this “stuff”, the transacting of business and sending of money between the
Court concludes that it is not enough.
The Court concludes there is no personal jurisdiction in
Justice Warren suggests that the defendant must act to “purposefully avail” himself of the “privilege of conducting activities within that state”.
a 5-4 split on Hanson, but it goes against jurisdiction for
the difference? The key distinction
is the fact that the insurance company solicited business in
At least one justice flips between the two sides between McGee and Hanson.
These are “bookends” of personal jurisdiction. Remember the defendant’s purpose in their contacts in a new state. Are they active or passive?
These cases apply even today. This case was in the 4th Circuit. It involved a federal “anti-cybersquatting” act (15 U.S.C. § 1125). Harrods sued for control of “harrods.everything”. The statute says you can file an in rem action if you can’t get in personam jurisdiction.
Is it constitutional to allow jurisdiction under this statute?
The court cites Shoe and says the “minimum contacts” rule applying to in rem and quasi in rem actions as well as in personam actions (according to the 4th Circuit, not the Supreme Court).
States and federal district courts have the same jurisdiction.
domain names are registered in
court argues that by registering domain names in
court claims that this is not quasi in rem Type 2. The court says that the controversy directly
involves the property in question, so
The bottom line: these seemingly old, stale cases are still the foundation upon which you’re going to make arguments, even on the appellate level.
What was not mentioned in Harrods? Foreseeability. Note that we never get a clear definition of minimum contacts. Contrast this with the clear definition of “traditional notions of substantive justice and fair play” we’ll get soon.
This is a classic case. From a jurisprudential standpoint, this is contemporary.
Robinsons bought their Audi in
The Robinsons sue everybody. “This is a good strategy, future plaintiff’s lawyers. If you’re going to sue anybody, sue everybody that can possibly be liable.”
“We’ve sued all the way up the food chain here for this defective product.”
did we sue them? In
didn’t the manufacturer challenge jurisdiction?
Did the manufacturer have contacts in
Factually, the case is about jurisdiction over the distributor and the dealer.
is Woodson??? Woodson was the trial judge
Some judges take it personally when you try to challenge a judge’s ruling in the middle of a proceeding. Judges don’t like to be reversed.
Also, why didn’t the plaintiffs sue the dude who actually ran into them? The guy was an old drunk. He’s judgment-proof! He didn’t have insurance.
This is one of the practical things you have to decide in litigation: if there’s nothing to recover, there’s no reason to add them as a party (except for some strategic reasons).