On October 30, 2020, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania transferred to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania an important appeal that will decide the constitutional limits on Pennsylvania state courts’ exercise of general personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants. The transfer was welcome news for WLF, which filed an amicus brief in the case. WLF argued that Pennsylvania’s long-arm statute, which provides that any out-of-state corporation that registers to do business in Pennsylvania may be sued there for any dispute arising from anywhere, violates the Due Process Clause. WLF’s brief urged strict adherence to the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Daimler AG v. Bauman, which reinforced the Constitution’s due-process limits on the judiciary’s exercise of personal jurisdiction over out of-of-state defendants. WLF believes that Pennsylvania’s statutory rationale for personal jurisdiction—if allowed to stand—will erode the due-process rights of defendants and render Daimler a dead letter in all cases brought in Pennsylvania.
WLF filed its brief with substantial pro bono assistance from James M. Beck of the firm Reed Smith LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.