• September 9, 2015

Arrowsmith's_map_of_the_world_(1812)For some time now, Minnesota Litigator has lamented federal law’s imprecision and indeterminacy as to how federal courts decide if they have “in personam” or personal jurisdiction over people and companies that are out of the district or out of the country (note the “weird word doctrine” coined in the original post of this linked thread of posts).

Things seem to be headed in the right direction from my point of view. Comparing this case and this case to this older Eighth Circuit case (not that old (1996)), I get the sense that there is a growing recognition: when a foreign company knowingly engages in business with, say, a Minnesota company, for any protracted period of time (a vague term that might not be determinable with precision by courts ever), in the absence of a contractual exclusive forum selection clause identifying a non-Minnesota forum, the foreign company should be charged with knowledge that it might have to defend a lawsuit in Minnesota if a dispute arises. That is, in my view, courts should rule that such foreign or out-of-state companies could “reasonably foresee” being “haled” into court in Minnesota.

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