Supreme Court: Consent by Business Registration

In a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., the Court ruled that when foreign corporations register to do business in a state, they can be seen as consenting to that state’s personal jurisdiction. This means out-of-state companies might face legal actions in a state where they’re registered, even if the case has no direct ties to that state. Justice Gorsuch’s opinion cited a 1917 precedent, Pennsylvania Fire Ins. Co. v. Gold Issue Mining & Milling Co., as the basis for this decision. However, Justice Alito’s concurrence raised concerns about potential violations of the dormant Commerce Clause, which could be an issue for further examination. This decision could have implications for businesses operating across state lines. Read more from John Pinney below.