Some things to keep in mind when reading Perkins.

1) Look at the Perkins case from the perspective of Int'l Shoe. Which of the four categories in Int'l Shoe would Perkins fall under? Has Int'l Shoe been revised in some fashion by Perkins?

2) Pay particular attention to the extent to which the suit in Perkins is related to the activities supporting personal jurisdiction (PJ). Can you think of causes of action that would be even more unrelated to the activities supporting PJ, such that the court would reject PJ?

3) Can you figure out how the issue of whether due process compels Ohio to take PJ arose in connection with the Perkins case? Are there no circumstances where due process would compel a state to take jurisdiction of a case?

4) Since the Supreme Court concludes that under the 14th Amendment Ohio could either take or refuse PJ, why didn't it simply affirm the decision of the Ohio courts to refuse PJ? Why did it remand the case?

5) Is F&K right that the Helicopteros case suggests that general jurisdiction requires contacts as high as General Motors in Michigan? What about General Motors in Tennessee, where it has the Spring Hill Manufacturing plant with close to 4000 employees?

6) Imagine that GM closed down its plant in Tennessee in 2006. It no longer has any contact with the state. It is now sued in state court in Tennessee concerning a 2005 breach of a contract signed in 2004 in NY with performance in NY. Is there PJ?

7) What is the relationship, if any, between the contacts necessary for general jurisdiction in a state and the contacts necessary for the state to be a corporation's principal place of business? If there is general jurisdiction in a state, will it be its principal place of business? If the state is its principal place of business, will there be general jurisdiction? If it is its state of incorporation, will there be general jurisdiction?

8) Consider the following (taken from Pedelahore v. Astropark, Inc., 745 F.2d 346 (5th Cir. 1984)). A Louisiana P is injuired in Astropark in Houston, Tex. Astropark is a Delaware Corp., with its principal place of business in Texas. In considering whether Louisiana had general PJ over the defendant, the court said the following:

The final and most difficult inquiry presented by this appeal is whether subjecting Astropark to in personam jurisdiction in Louisiana is constitutionally permissible under the operative facts. Upon close examination we conclude and hold that valid personal jurisdiction exists.

What are the minimum contacts between Astropark and the people and State of Louisiana? Pedelahore points to the following actions by Astropark:

(1) An advertising program aimed at Louisianians, including the distribution of brochures and thousands of radio and television spots, together with advertisements in local, national, and regional publications, all extolling the wonders of Astroworld and encouraging visitors to attend.

(2) A ticket consignment agreement with all Louisiana travel agencies authorizing those agencies to sell Louisiana residents tickets to Astropark's facilities.

(3) The conducting of a three-day seminar in New Orleans in December 1982 by the Astropark Marketing Department, aimed, inter alia, at developing business from Louisiana for the Houston operation.

(4) The appointment of a sales representative with Louisiana as her area of responsibility.

To these active steps by Astropark, Pedelahore adds the results of the efforts. During the years 1981, 1982 and 1983, Louisiana accounted for 10.3%, 9.7%, and 8.0%, respectively, of the total patronage at the amusement park. Only one state, Texas, accounted for more patrons.

 Is the court really talking about general PJ? Is this really a special PJ case?

Questions about Goodyear

1) The Court did not answer the question of whether the foreign subsidiaries could be subjected to PJ due to the parent's (Goodyear USA's) contacts with  North Carolina. How should this question be answered?

2) Consider the following (taken from Ex Parte Newco Mfg, 481 So.2d 867 (Ala. 1985)). An Alabama P (but in Tenn. at time of the accident) brings a wrongful death action against NewCo (incorporated with its principal place of business in Missouri), the manufacturer of thimble clamps for grist blast machine. The manufacture and sale of the the thimble clamps occurred in MD. The accident occurred in Tenn. Newco's annual sales in Alabama during the period of January 1979 to December 1984 ranged from $65,000 to $85,000, with a total of 2,000 transactions.  The Alabame Supreme Court fould that PJ existed:

We agree with Newco that, because the allegedly defective clamps were not sold in Alabama and because the decedent's fatal accident did not occur in Alabama, the instant lawsuit does not relate to or arise from Newco's contacts with Alabama; therefore, Newco is not subject to “specific” jurisdiction in Alabama. We must determine, then, whether sufficient contacts exist between Alabama and Newco so that due process is not offended in subjecting Newco to Alabama's “general” jurisdiction. In other words, the nature of the contacts between the forum state and the party over whom jurisdiction is sought must be examined to determine whether those contacts constitute continuous and systematic general business contacts which would support a reasonable exercise of jurisdiction by the forum state.

We find that Newco engages in that continuous and systematic course of conduct in Alabama, albeit through an independent manufacturer's representative or the telephone and mail services, that will support a reasonable exercise of jurisdiction by the courts of Alabama. Newco's annual sales in Alabama during the period of January 1979 to December 1984 ranged from $65,000 to $85,000, with a total of 2,000 transactions. Newco's contacts with Alabama are deliberate rather than fortuitous and, therefore, it was reasonably foreseeable that Newco, in purposefully doing business in Alabama, would at some point both need the protection and invoke the jurisdiction of the courts of Alabama. Newco avails itself of the privilege of making sales (and profits) in Alabama in a continuous and systematic course of merchandising. For the privilege of conducting such activities, Newco must bear the burden commensurate with the benefits received from its sales in Alabama.

Given what was said in Goodyear, is this case wrongly decided?

3) What inefficiencies result from the fact that there is no PJ over the foreign subsidiaries?

4) The Court mentions that the type of tire involved in the accident was never distributed in North Carolina. Would the case have come out differently if it had been distributed there?

5) The Court mentions that a small percentage of the foreign subsidiaries' tires were distributed within North Carolina (by other Goodyear USA affiliates). Would it have mattered if the percentage had been large? What if it had been 99.99% - that is all except the one tire that caused the accident in France?