by Mark Moller
Washington Legal Foundation
April 14, 2014
Three generations of law students have been taught there are two types of jurisdiction over a person—specific and general. Specific jurisdiction is the subject of a long, tangled line of Supreme Court jurisprudence. By contrast, general jurisdiction has suffered neglect. In 2011, the Supreme Court broke its silence in Goodyear Dunlop Tire Operations, S.A. v. Brown, providing the most sustained discussion of general jurisdiction to date. This term’s J.Daimler AG v. Bauman case provided a dramatic sequel to Goodyear. In a decision that will require rewriting Civil Procedure textbooks, treatises, and—perhaps most significantly—law firms’ motion-to-dismiss templates, the Court offers an even more comprehensive discussion of general jurisdiction. Daimler provides the clearest, most definitive statement yet that general jurisdiction is limited, except in rare cases, to those states in which a reportage defendant is incorporated or headquartered. And it was nearly unanimous (only Justice Sotomayor dissented).

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