Mass and Class Action Litigation: Corporate Personal Jurisdiction After Bristol-Myers Squibb

Navigating Unresolved Legal Issues and Preparing for Shifting Plaintiff Litigation Strategies

*** This program has been cancelled ***

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A


Thursday, September 7, 2017
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT


This CLE webinar will discuss the issue of personal jurisdiction over corporate defendants in light of the Supreme Court’s recent Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Ct. and BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell rulings. The program will review the progression of the Court’s prior decisions on corporate jurisdiction, as well as lower court decisions issued since the BMS/BNSF rulings. The program will discuss key unresolved legal issues and expected litigation tactics by plaintiffs.

Description

The Supreme Court’s recent Bristol-Myers Squibb ruling continues the Court’s trend toward a more constrictive view of corporate specific jurisdiction starting with its 2011 Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations v. Brown decision and the following 2014 Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations v. Brown ruling.

The Court’s ruling in BMS follows its 2017 decision in BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, which held that the Court’s general jurisdiction decision in Daimler was based on the Fourteenth Amendment and was not limited to certain types of claims.

The BMS decision limits forums for nationwide mass actions in state court to those states where the defendant is incorporated or has its principal place of business. Plaintiffs must continue to adapt their theories and strategies after each Supreme Court ruling, and this is no exception. Defense counsel must prepare for the shift in litigation tactics post-BMS and develop effective responses.

Despite the clear impact of the BMS ruling, several unanswered questions remain. While BMS was a mass action case, the ruling raises questions about whether nationwide or multistate class actions can proceed in states where the defendant is not subject to general jurisdiction.

Also unresolved is the issue of what constitutes the “adequate link” to support specific jurisdiction and whether the Fifth Amendment similarly restricts personal jurisdiction by a federal court that the Fourteenth Amendment imposes on state courts.

Listen as our panel of class action litigators analyzes personal jurisdiction over corporate defendants after the Supreme Court’s Bristol-Myers Squibb and BNSF Railway Co. rulings. The program will discuss prior rulings by the Supreme Court on corporate jurisdiction, as well as decisions issued since the BMS/BNSF rulings. The panel will review unresolved issues and discuss anticipated plaintiff litigation tactics.

Outline

  1. Prelude to Bristol-Myers Squibb and BNSF Railway Co.
    1. Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations v. Brown (2011)
    2. Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations v. Brown (2014)
  2. Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Ct. and BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell
  3. Unresolved legal issues
  4. Evolvng plaintiff tactics

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the implications of Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court for nationwide and multistate class actions proceeding in states where the defendant is not subject to general jurisdiction?
  • Does the Fifth Amendment similarly restrict personal jurisdiction by a federal court that the Fourteenth Amendment imposes on state courts?
  • How have plaintiffs adjusted their litigation strategies in response to prior Supreme Court cases restricting corporate personal jurisdiction and what might we expect to see post-Bristol-Myers Squibb?

Faculty

Wystan M. Ackerman, Partner
Robinson & Cole, Hartford, Conn.

Mr. Ackerman is Chair of the firm's Class Action Team. He has defended major insurers across the country in class actions and has prevailed on dispositive motions in numerous cases. In addition to insurer representation, Mr. Ackerman has defended cases involving products liability, financial services, consumer contracts, and securities. He is a frequent author and lecturer on class action topics.

Leah Kelman, Esq.
Herrick Feinstein, Newark, N.J.

Ms. Kelman concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation including class action defense, title insurance, and professional responsibility and ethics. She has written on class action and litigation issues. 


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Class Action Law Advisory Board

Thomas Allen

Partner

Reed Smith

Steve Berman

Partner

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro

Brian Boyle

Partner

O'Melveny & Myers

H. Douglas Hinson

Partner

Alston & Bird

Daniel R. Karon

Founder

Karon LLC

Robert S. Kitchenoff

Partner

Weinstein Kitchenoff & Asher

Neal R. Marder

Partner

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

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Partner

Eimer Stahl

W. Ray Persons

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King & Spalding

William B. Rubenstein

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Harvard Law School

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