#Mallory v. #Norfolk Southern Railway Co. likely to add to the US-German judicial conflict

Last week, on a cold and snowy winter evening, Prof. Peter Hay, Prof. Giesela Rühl, members of the Deutsch-Amerikanische Juristen-Vereinigung (DAJV e.V.) – German-American Lawyers’​ Association, as well as students of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin gathered at our #Werkstatt to discuss recent developments in US civil procedure, likely to create significant concern for foreign companies investing or trading in the USA.

Peter Hay, who Philipp calls his academic “grandfather”, contributed his observations on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in which the Supreme Court modified the conditions under which U.S. courts have jurisdiction over lawsuits against foreign companies.

The Court held that, although the defendant company Norfolk was incorporated and registered in Virginia, the Pennsylvania courts had jurisdiction over the dispute. Norfolk was registered to do business in Pennsylvania, which has a corporate registration statute requiring corporations to consent to the general jurisdiction of its courts regardless of where the underlying lawsuit arose. Hereby, the Supreme Court reversed the prior decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which had found the statute to violate the due process clause of the Constitution. If a business is registered in a state which imposes such statutory requirements, anyone can bring a lawsuit in that state for any reason, even if the case has no other jurisdictional connection to that state.

A warm thank you to Giesela Rühl and Prof. Dr. Hans-Eric Rasmussen-Bonne who initiated this #firesidechat, and to all the attendees for braving the cold to spend the evening with us!


Tanya Verma

Tanya Verma is an Indian qualified lawyer currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Dispute Resolution at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She obtained a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration and Legislative Law from a renowned university in India. During her five-year tenure in law school, Tanya had the opportunity to intern under esteemed designated Senior […]

Pablo Ortega Krstulovic

Pablo Ortega Krstulovic is a Chilean-qualified lawyer who joins us as a visiting professional from the new class of the IDR LL.M at HU. He grew up in Arica, Chile and completed his legal education at the University of Chile in Santiago. Before moving to Berlin, Pablo gained experience as an associate lawyer at one of […]

Diego Melendez Hirezi

Diego Melendez Hirezi is a Salvadorean-qualified lawyer. He graduated from the Superior School of Business and Economics of El Salvador. Currently, he is a student in the International Dispute Resolution LL.M program at Berlin Humboldt University. For more than five years, he worked as an associate in the litigation and arbitration department of Arias Law, a […]

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The law firm WAGNER Arbitration has its offices in Berlin and specializes in dispute resolution with a focus on arbitration. In addition, the firm offers comprehensive counseling services related to domestic and international business disputes and transactions.