Monthly Archives June 2017

On June 19, the United States Supreme reaffirmed some basic principles of personal jurisdiction in Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 528 U.S. __ (2017).  In a bloody-good 8-1 decision (with only Justice Sotomayor dissenting) the United States Supreme Court reversed a decision of the California Supreme Court that had affirmed California's exercise of personal jurisdiction over BMS, a foreign corporation, in a series of lawsuits brought by individuals alleging personal injuries from the ingestion of Plavix, a prescription blood-thinning drug manufactured and sold by BMS. The California Supreme Court affirmed the California Superior Court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over BMS despite the facts that 592 of the plaintiffs were residents  of states other than California, and alleged no connection between their injuries and any conduct taking place in California whatsoever.  Because BMS is headquartered in New York (not California), incorporated in Delaware (again, not California), and maintains substantial operations in…

The United States Supreme Court today ended the controversial tactic of self-inflicted finality, wherein a class action plaintiff that has been denied certification and denied 23f review creates its own “final judgment” by voluntarily dismissing its own case, while reserving the right to appeal the denial of class certification. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-457_6j37.pdf In Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, the Supreme held that this gambit violates the carefully-calibrated principle of finality set out in the federal statutory review structure, composed of 28 U.S.C. 1291 (review of final decisions), 1292(b) (interlocutory review), and Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f) (review of class certification decisions):   “We hold that the voluntary dismissal essayed by respondents does not qualify as a ‘final decision’ within the compass of 1291.  The tactic would undermine S 1291’s firm finality principle, designed to guard against piecemeal appeals, and subvert the balanced solution Rule 23(f) put in place for immediate review of class…

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