SCOTUS Grants Cert in Personal Jurisdiction Case
The SCOTUS granted cert yesterday in a case presenting this question:
"Whether a foreign corporation is subject to general personal jurisdiction, on causes of action not arising out of or related to any contacts between it and the forum state, merely because other entities distribute in the forum state products placed in the stream of commerce by the defendant."
The review will be of a North Carolina Supreme Court case that upheld the assertion of general jurisdiction based on the defendant's injecting their product into the stream of commerce without limiting its reach into North Carolina. Based on current understandings of general jurisdiction, it is hard to imagine the Supreme Court upholding this decision, which uses Justice Brennan's stream of commerce analysis from Asahi to uphold jurisdiction in a case having nothing to do with the forum state contacts. Look for a unanimous reversal of the North Carolina decision and a helpful clarification of the standards governing the assertion of general jurisdiction.
A bonus would be if the Court resolved the unsettled question of which approach from Asahi is the appropriate stream of commerce test; but I don't expect that to happen given that such an analysis is (or should be) wholly irrelevant to whether a court may assert general jurisdiction over a defendant, as opposed to specific jurisdiction.