Complex Litigation Scotus Speaks on ‘Specific’ Jurisdiction
July 7, 2017
New York Law Journal
On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 8-1 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California (No. 16-466, June 19, 2017) (BMS). The court clarified whether a state court (here California) can, consistent with due process, assert "specific" personal jurisdiction over a foreign defendant when nonresident plaintiffs sue for claims having "no affiliation between the forum and the underlying controversy," such as a case-linked "activity or an occurrence that takes place in the forum state." When there is no such connection, held the court, "specific jurisdiction is lacking regardless of the extent of a defendant's unconnected activities in the State." BMS, Slip Op., at 7.