The Supreme Court’s New Approach to Personal Jurisdiction

Bernadette Bollas Genetin, University of Akron School of Law


This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the two personal jurisdiction opinions the United States Supreme Court issued in 2014. The article concludes that, these cases, Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), and Walden v. Fiore, 134 S. Ct. 1115 (2014), usher in a new doctrinal approach to personal jurisdiction. In Daimler AG v. Bauman, the Supreme Court narrowed the scope of general jurisdiction, making it available primarily in a corporation’s states of incorporation and principal place of business and rejecting, in most cases, the prior approach of permitting general jurisdiction based on a defendant’s “continuous and systematic” contacts with a forum. In Walden v. Fiore, the Court expanded specific jurisdiction by concluding that a court should consider the “relation among the defendant, the forum, and the litigation,” in determining whether specific jurisdiction exists, and turning away from its prior purposeful availment approach. The article concludes that these cases provide space for the courts to return, in all specific jurisdiction cases, to an analysis that considers all relevant interests, including the interests of the defendant, the plaintiff, and the state. It also demonstrates that the Court has used this type of analysis effectively in the past.