Personal Jurisdiction – Play it Where it Lies. Bless You, Scalia.


If you commit a tort against another person in the US, you should be subject to suit in the victim’s home, or most convenient forum. Why then is the doctrine of Personal Jurisdiction so dense? I know that I am basing a conclusion on an opinion of mine, but do you disagree? Does it matter that it is a forum non conveniens (an inconvenient forum)? It was inconvenient for you to hit me with your car when I was walking my dog. I don’t care if you were on a cross country trip to Idaho and I live in New Hampshire. Enter the Non-Citizen Motorist Act to save the day. So, if all 50 states have a statute that provides for any person who causes a car accident to defend themselves in the court of the state in which the accident occurred, then why is this not consistent throughout? Our focus on “minimum contacts” and “fair play and substantial justice”, or “purposeful availment” and “domicile” vs. “residence” are all silly and troublesome to me. Play it where it lies, kids. Personal Jurisdiction is bound to be reduced to this Scalia mantra. For now, we grapple with answers which are questions and questions which come from answers. Personal Jurisdiction needs an enema…

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