Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Quotes Larry Ebner in Feature Article on Supreme Court Anti-Forum Shopping Decisions

A feature article entitled “Supreme Court clamps down on state-court forum shopping,” published on July 13 in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, turns to Capital Appellate Advocacy founder Larry Ebner for comment. 

In two cases decided this Spring, BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell (see Supreme Court Derails Forum Shoppers) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California (see Tough Times for Forum Shoppers), the Supreme Court reaffirmed and applied both “general” and “case-specific” personal jurisdiction principles, respectively, to bar out-of-state plaintiffs from suing out-of-state companies for damages.  

Ebner, who authored an amicus brief for DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar in the Bristol-Myers case, explained in the Lawyers Weekly article that the two decisions significantly curtail class actions and mass tort actions brought by plaintiffs from multiple states.  In response to a question,  Ebner suggested that in light of the Supreme Court decisions, plaintiffs’ attorneys will try to devise new theories to circumvent the rulings by showing that there is enough of a link between a company’s business activities in a particular state and out-of-state plaintiffs’ claims to warrant a court’s exercise of jurisdiction in that state. Ebner emphasized that the Supreme Court held in Bristol-Myers  that a company’s nationwide marketing campaign for a product is not enough to establish case-specific jurisdiction.   

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