US Courts On Legal Basis For Jurisdiction

Two recent decisions, one from the United States Supreme Court and the other from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, present new developments which may affect domestic and international litigants. In Hertz Corp. v. Friend, ___ U.S. ___, 130 S.Ct. 1181 (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court clarified that for jurisdictional purposes, a corporation’s “principal place of business” is its “nerve center” which will typically be the corporation’s headquarters. The Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision in Wilson v. Island Seas Investments, Ltd., 590 F.3d 1264 (11th Cir. 2009), made clear that a plaintiff’s financial ability to prosecute his or her case in a foreign jurisdiction should be taken into consideration by the district court in deciding whether to dismiss the plaintiff’s action based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens.

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