Tag Archives: California Supreme Court

In Bristol-Myers, CA Supremes Find Contacts Insufficient For General Jurisdiction, But Expand the Scope of Specific Jurisdiction

Merton Howard 
Merton Howard
August 30, 2016

Non-resident companies across the United States have been anxiously awaiting the California Supreme Court’s decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court (San Francisco) regarding the reach of the state’s personal jurisdiction statute.  In an opinion authored by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, a 4-3 majority held that Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is subject to jurisdiction in California on suits by non-resident plaintiffs injured outside the state, but limited its holding to claims based on specific jurisdiction only.

The underlying actions, some 592 consolidated claims by non-resident plaintiffs, had been challenged by BMS via a Motion to Quash for lack of personal jurisdiction.  BMS argued that the company is incorporated in Delaware, headquartered in New York City, and maintains substantial operations in New Jersey.  Furthermore, BMS claimed that none of the at-issue complaints contained any claims that the non-resident plaintiffs‘ injuries occurred in California or that they had been treated for their injuries here.  As such, it believed neither specific nor general personal jurisdiction could be exercised over it for claims by non-resident plaintiffs.

After some procedural back and forth on the applicability of general jurisdiction in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014) 571 U.S. ___ [134 S.Ct. 746] (Daimler), the Court of Appeal for California heard the BMS cases on transfer, and held that it was specific personal jurisdiction, and not general, which California had the right to exercise over BMS.  It was this decision that the State Supreme Court yesterday affirmed.

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Welcome to the Bar, Mr. Chang

John Cu 
John Cu
March 25, 2015

In 1872, Hong Yen Chang came to this country from China as part of an educational program to teach Chinese youth about the West.   Chang graduated from Philips Academy in Andover Massachusetts in 1879, earned his undergraduate degree at Yale, and received his juris doctorate at Columbia Law School in 1886.  He applied for admission to the New York Bar, but despite a “high marking” and unanimous recommendations from bar examiners, his admission was rejected because he was not a U.S. citizen. That same year, a New York judge issued Chang a certificate of naturalization, and ultimately Chang was admitted to the New York Bar in 1888, becoming the first recognized “regularly admitted Chinese lawyer in the country.”

Desiring to serve the large Chinese community of San Francisco, Chang moved to California and applied for admission to the California Bar.  The California Supreme Court rejected Chang’s application, swiftly holding that Chang’s U.S. citizenship was issued without authority, and, under the Chinese Exclusion Act, courts were expressly forbidden to issue citizenships to any native of China.

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New CA Supreme Court Justices Meet the Bar

Candice Shih 
Candice Shih
March 9, 2015

Just three months into their tenure as California Supreme Court Justices, Leondra Kruger and Mariano-Florentino Cuellar introduced themselves to a packed house at a meeting of the ABTL last week.

Their conversation, moderated by Justice Carol Corrigan, covered their childhoods, development of their legal careers, experiences on the bench thus far, and pet peeves.

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