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One of the first considerations of corporate counsel when served with process is whether the company is subject to personal jurisdiction in the plaintiff’s choice of forum. Courts distinguish between general (all-purpose) jurisdiction and specific (conduct-linked) jurisdiction.

Historically, doing substantial business in a state could subject an out-of-state company to personal jurisdiction within that state for any cause of action.

Today, however, it is rare for a plaintiff to successfully establish general jurisdiction over a corporate defendant anywhere other than the corporation’s place of incorporation or principal place of business.

In an article for the Tampa Bay chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel's newsletter, Eric Partlow examines the fairly recent evolution in general jurisdiction and make the argument for why it should be part of corporate counsel’s initial case analysis. 

Read the full article (reprinted with permission of ACC Tampa Bay).