Professor Diane Kaplan Goes Up the Stream of Commerce

July 15 – Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Professor Diane S. Kaplan authors article:

In the last day of its 2010-2011 term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued multiple opinions in J. McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro (U.S. Supreme Court, 2011) that raised but did not resolve a complex personal jurisdiction issue with roots in Illinois dating back half a century.

In effect, merely accessing a national economic network for the sale and distribution of goods does not create the constitutionally required relationship between the defen­dant, the forum and the lawsuit needed to satisfy the due process minimum contacts requirement. According to [Justice An­thony M.] Kennedy, the due process clause allows a state to exercise personal jurisdiction only when the defendant’s activities manifest an intention to submit the sovereign authority of the state. A concurring opinion written by Justice Stephen G. Breyer and joined by Justice Samuel A. Alito agreed to reverse the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling but did not agree with the plurality’s strict application of the purposeful availment doctrine, preferring instead to defer such analysis to a more appropriate case.

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