McGuireWoods Lawyers Examine Ninth Circuit Decision on Personal Jurisdiction at Class Certification

September 29, 2021

McGuireWoods partners Diane Flannery and Trent Taylor and associates Cory Church and Drew Gann co-authored an article in the Daily Journal on Aug. 26, 2021. The piece covers the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that allows defendants to challenge personal jurisdiction over putative class members at class certification.

After last year’s ruling in the Seventh and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals that addressed the contours of personal jurisdictions in federal class actions, the Ninth Circuit chimed in with its ruling in Moser v. Benefytt, Inc. The authors look at how the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court’s ruling and found that the defendant “could not have moved to dismiss on personal jurisdiction grounds the claims of putative class members who were not then before the court.”

“Like the D.C. Circuit in Moser, the Ninth Circuit refrained from explicitly deciding whether Bristol-Myers precludes the exercise of personal jurisdiction over nonresident putative class members in a federal court forum in which a defendant is not ‘at home,’ ” they said.

They said that Moser gives defendants in the Ninth Circuit breathing room to challenge personal jurisdiction over putative class members at class certification without fear of waiver.

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