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Conflicts of Law
Temple University School of Law
Little, Laura E.

I.       Personal Jurisdiction
                A.            General and Specific Jurisdiction
·         stool w/ 3 legs:
o    personal jurisdiction/judicial jurisdiction
o    legislative jurisdiction – choice of law (main part of this course)
o    judgment – exercise of judicial power resolving specific rights of parties
1.             Personal jurisdiction: assertion of judicial power over individuals in a lawsuit (judicial jur.) – rep . of state (judge) saying I have prerogative of resolving conflict, which means I have prerogative of saying you must come into my state to deal with this issue of conflict
2.             Personal jurisdiction based on state long-arm statutes is divided, for constitutional analysis purposes, into two categories: general and specific jurisdiction.
a.             General jurisdiction exists when an out-of-state party has extensive, systematic and continuous dealings with the state in which the court sits. When a court has general jurisdiction over a party, the court has personal jurisdiction over any dispute involving the party. Thus, a court’s general jurisdiction power is equivalent to its power based on presence within the state. As an example, a corporation may advertise and sell so many products for such a long time within a state that it is subject to personal jurisdiction for any claim against it, even if the claim involves activity that occurred only outside the state. (Helicopteros)
b.             Conversely, a court’s specific jurisdiction power over a party, when the party does not have systematic and continuous contacts with the state, is specific to cases that have a substantial connection to the party’s in-state activity.
                                3.             Helicopteros Nacionales do Colombia, S.A. v. Hall (1983) (p. 487)
a.             Facts: helicopter crash while D’s employee was operating the machine – Colombian Corp., PPB in Colombia, provided transportation in S.Am. – P were employees of a TX corp. involved in K with Peruvian oil co. (co. is alter ego of TX corp. b/c Peru wouldn’t let non-Peruvian co. construct their pipeline) – meeting re: helicopter transport held in TX – K signed in Peru; residence of all parties would be in Peru; Peruvian courts would govern controversies – payments would be made to bank in NYC (over $5M in payments made) – 1970-77: helicopters, parts, accessories were purchased from TX co.; employees of D go to TX for training (these were only contacts involving TX – no authorization to do business in TX, no agent for service of process in TX, etc.)
b.             Issue: Was it consistent with DPC for TX cts. to assert in personam jurisdiction over D? (Does TX ct. have PJ over foreign corp.?)
c.             Holding: Mere purchases, even on regular intervals, are not enough to warrant a state’s assertion of in personam jurisdiction over a non-resident corporation in a cause of action not related to those purchase transactions
d.             Reasoning: DPC of 14th operates to limit the power of a state to assert in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident D (Pennoyer v. Neff) – DP requirements are satisfied when in personam is asserted over a nonresident corporate D that has certain minimum contacts . . . such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice (Int’l Shoe Co. v. WA) – when a controversy is related to or “arises out of” a D’s contacts with the forum, the Ct. has said that a relationship among the D, the forum, and the litigation is the essential foundation of in personam jurisdiction (Shaffer v. Heitner) – general jurisdiction: when state exercises PJ over D in suit not arising out of or related to D’s contacts w/in the forum state – DP not offended by state’s subjecting the corp. to in personam when there are sufficient contacts btw state and foreign corp. (Perkins v. Benguet Consol. Mining Co.) – where the contacts with TX continuous and systematic? NO. (they don’t mimic Perkins, where a Philippines co.’s president maintained office in OH, paid checks out of OH acct., etc.) – no place of business, never licensed to do business there, etc. – D had limited reasons for contact with the US – TC ct. focused on the training trips & purchases – S.Ct. already ruled in Rosenberg that these contacts are not sufficient – and this was not refuted by Int’l Shoe (OK store purchased from wholesale NY retailer – sometimes visited in person to make purchases) – “the brief presence of Helicol employees in TX for the purpose of attending the training sessions is no more a significant contact thatn were the trips to NY made by the buyer for the retail store in Rosenberg”
e.             Cases Noted:
i.              Pennoyer (1877): DPC of 14th operates to limit the power of a state to assert in personam jurisdiction over a nonresident D – we’ve said that a ct. has power if the individual. is w/in territory of jur. where the court sits – that’s generally what’s been done, so that is DP – if you make your way into the state, you’re physically there, the court has power of you – thinking of Dred Scott: that was territorial notion – you make your way into state, your status may change – idea of territory doesn’t really continue to work with increased transportation – courts get creative with whether an individual is “present” within the sate
 
ii.             International Shoe (1945): DP requirements are satisfied when in personam is asserted over a nonresident corporate D that has certain minimum contacts . . . such that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice – yes this is about DP, but we have a broader way of looking at DP – get away from mechanical notion of DP – let’s look at broad values: that’s fair play. does it comport with FP & substantial justice? – in order to test whether power was present, courts should look to contacts – some say contacts replaced physical power – LL thinks that this wanted to put the theory on more abstract, are you treating people fairly? that’s DP – court keeps taking PJ cases
iii.            Shaffer (1977): when a controversy is related to or “arises out of” a D’s contacts with the forum, the Ct. has said that a relationship among the D, the forum, and the litigation is the essential foundation of in personam jurisdiction (S. Ct. extends min. contacts test to in rem)
iv.            Perkins (1952): DP not offended by state’s subjecting the corp. to in personam when there are sufficient contacts btw state and foreign corp.
v.             Rosenberg (1923): purchases and related trips, standing alone, are not a sufficient basis for a state’s assertion of jurisdiction
vi.            trying to figure out whether state has power
•              quid pro quo – benefits/burdens
•              analytical connection– if there is analytical/logical connection btw what happened and context, more likely to stay state isn’t getting out of hand with power, there is something crucial that happened – goes to the state prerogative
•              notice to D, expectations of being haled into court
•              proxy for D’s convenience
 
                                4.             Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court of CA (1987) (p. 534)
a.             Facts: P crashes motorcycle – injured, wife killed – P alleges tire, tube, and sealant defective – Cheng Shin: tube mfr. – Asahi: valve mfr. – Japanese corp., mfr. valves, sells to CS & others – all claims dismissed besides CS’s indemnification claim a/g A – sale took place in Taiwan; shipments from Japan to Taiwan – A’s sales to CS were 2.4% of 1981 & 0.44% of 1982 income – CS said that 20% f US sales were in CA
b.             Issue:
c.             Holding:
d.             Reasoning: WWVW rejects that it’s enough for the consumer to bring a product into the forum, but said that DPC isn’t exceeded if the foreign corp. brings the product into the forum – some cts. say it’s enough for D to put the product into the stream of commerce – others say that D must more purposefully avail of the forum state – IIA: substantial connection must come about by an action of D purposefully directed toward the forum state – placement of product into stream of commerce, without more, isn’t enough – D’s awareness that stream of commerce may sweep product into forum state doesn’t convert act of placing product into act purposefully directed at forum state – A in no way doing business in CA – IIB: would offend “fair play and substantial justice” – never mind the stream of commerce, it’s plainly unreasonable – all of this took place in Taiwan/Japan; CS hasn’t shown it’s better to litigate in CA rather than Asia; the benefit to CA is low – int’l context, heavy burden on alien D, slight interest of P/forum state – exercising PJ over A unreasonable & unfair – no PJ
 
 
B.            Transient Jurisdiction
                                1.             Temporary physical presence in the state when served is sufficient for PJ
                                                a.             single contact not OK – need to satisfy minimum contacts (Shaffer v. Heitner)
                                                b.             Burnham gives S.Ct. ability to re-examine the transient jurisdiction test
2.             Burnham v. Superior Court:
a.             Facts: NJ H served w/ divorce C while visiting CA – didn’t violate DPC – transient jur. = traditional notion of fair play and substantial justice, which are at core of DP – didn’t need to be tested a/g anything more elaborative of the standard
b.             Holding: The exercise of PJ based on service of D while in state comports with traditional notions of fair play & substantial justice (DPC doesn’t deny state court’s jur. over nonresident personally served while in state in a suit unrelated to the activities within the state)
c.             Reasoning: as practical matter, actually turns out that lots of times, attys go out of their way to tag someone in a state – why might that be if in many cases you might be able to est. SJ or PJ or whatever? why hire investigator to go this?
if this is all about fairness, there something dramatic about that notice – v. hard to argue w/ fairness of being personally served in the forum
also, if stuff. for PJ, you also don’t take away from threshold issue as to whether PJ or GJ – take the issue off the table
– framed to show OK, not related to the state; prob. not in the state very often
– RULE: service of process while in-state is sufficient under DPC (Scalia, Rehnquist, Kennedy)
– DUE in due process – what does DUE mean – you deserve it, it’s owed to you, you’re entitled to it – idea very much a part of the language “due process of law” – a process you are owed – he connects it with tradition (p. 2115/
we define DP of law as what our system provides – provided in the past so that citizens are entitled to it in the future
we’ve done a lot of unjust things in the past –
3.             specifics of the doctrine of PJ:
a.             Pennoyer – presence:
i.              persons
ii.             property
b.             Int’l Shoe – purported to replace idea of presence with
i.              fair play & substantial justice (trying to deal w/ persons not physically present, but have lots of contacts in the forum – are contacts sufficient to justify exercise of PJ?)
c.             left w/ question of presence alone sufficient for PJ to comply w/ DP? also unclear whether or not presence of property alone was enough to justify PJ
i.              ct. first clears up fact that presence of property alone – Shaffer – no, that analysis doesn’t work anymore – all assertions of jur. must be filed through FP & SJ standard
4.             POST-PJ – if we have

g his car with due care strikes a pedestrian and injures him, he is not liable; but in this situation, the actor is immune from liability, not because of some particular circumstances which make the case an exception to he general rule, but because the general rule is that liability is imposed in such cases only when the actor has been at fault. This distinction is important in the Conflict of Laws because, as state in § 379, the general question of the liability-creating character of the actor’s conduct is determined by the law of the place of wrong, while under the statement in Subsection (2) of this Section, the question of privilege is determined by the law of the place where the actor acts . . .
 
§ 384. Recognition of Foreign Cause of Action.
(1) If a cause of action in tort is created at the place of wrong, a cause of action will be recognized in other state.
(2) If no cause of action is created at the place of wrong, no recovery in tort can be had in any other state . 
 
§ 385. Contributory Negligence.
Whether contributory negligence of the P precludes recovery in whole or in part in an action for negligent injury is determined by the law of the place of wrong.
 
§ 386. Liability to Servant for Tort of Fellow Servant.
The law of the place of wrong determines whether a master is liable in tort to a servant for a wrong caused by a fellow servant . . .
 
§ 387. Vicarious Liability.
When a person authorizes another to act for him in any state and the other does so act, whether he is liable for the tort of the other determined by the law of the place of wrong . . .
 
§ 390. Survival of Actions.
Whether a claim for damages for a tort survives the death of the tortfeasors or of the injured person is determined by the law of the place of wrong . . .
 
§ 391. Right of Action for Death.
The law of the place of wrong governs the right of action for death . . .
 
§ 398. Compensation under Act of State of Employment.
A workman who enters into contract of employment in a state in which a Workmen’s Compensation Act is in force can recover compensation under the Act in that state for bodily harm arising out of and in the course of the employment, although the harm was suffered in another state, unless the Act provides in specific words or is so interpreted as to apply only to bodily harm occurring within the state . . .
 
§ 399. Compensation under Act of State of Harm
Except as stated in § 401, a workman may recover in a state in which he sustains harm under the Workmen’s Compensation Act of that state although the K of employment was made in another state, unless the Act provides in specific words or is so interpreted as to apply only when the K of employment is made within the state . . .
 
§ 412. Measure of Damages for Tort
The measure of damages for a tort is determined by the law of the place of wrong . . .
 
§ 421. Exemplary Damages.
The right to exemplary damages is determined by the law of the place of wrong . . .
 
                                                a.             vested rights – extent of liability to be determined according to law of the place of the wrong
b.             rationale was that b/c tort claims are transitory (D may be held liable in any state where P catches them), only fair that D be judged according to standards in effect where the act took place and not where sued
c.             place where P’s injuries were sustained was the place of the wrong – generally same place D acted (where the last event necessary to make the actor liable took place
d.             criticism: fortuitous results (merely passing through), policy of other states defeated (P’s domicile, e.g., had far more concern about P’s compensation), or it was better to be looking at where D’s conduct took place
e.             exceptions: classifying a matter as substantive rather than procedural, characterizing as something other than a tort, holding wrong to be conduct rather than injury, PP defense
                                                f.             Alabama Great Southern RR v. Carroll (1892) (p. 1)
i.              Facts: P, AL resident, employed by D RR co., AL corp., as a brakeman on the line from Birmingham, AL to Meridian, MS – employment K made in AL- P injured when link between two cars broke in MS – evidence shows defective link, defective when train left AL – D’s duty to inspect links’ condition should maintain inspection on the trips – negligence on part of D – inspection either wasn’t performed or defect wasn’t remedied
ii.             Holding: The duties and liabilities in relation between P and D which are involved in the case are not imposed by and do not rest in or spring from K btw the parties