United States Supreme Court Clarifies Standard For Determining Corporate Citizenship For Purposes Of Federal Court Diversity Jurisdiction

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In Hertz Corp. v. Friend, No. 08-1107, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 1897 (Feb. 23, 2010), the United States Supreme Court reversed the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s holding that New Jersey-based Hertz Corporation (“Hertz”) was a citizen of the State of California for purposes of federal court diversity jurisdiction, rejecting the Ninth Circuit’s “business activities” test and instead adopting the corporate “nerve center” standard used by numerous other Circuits. In doing so, the Supreme Court established a single, uniform and clear interpretation of the phrase “principal place of business” for purposes of deciding a corporation’s citizenship status in disputes over whether diversity exists among parties to a lawsuit.

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