February 12, 2009
Supreme Court Reform
Today, at law.com, Marcia Coyle reports: Law Profs, Former Judges, Attorneys Urge Major Reforms for Supreme Court. The article describes four proposals, ranging from regular biennial appointment of new justices to identifying justices who are no longer able to perform competently. I suspect there is a special kind of inertia regarding the way the Supreme Court works. While we all grew up legally watching the Court change/modify/grow the law, we did so while the Court operated against a set of background procedures regarding operation and composition: Judicial Review must be; subject-matter jurisdiction must be challengable at any time; life tenure means life tenure; and so on. --RR
February 11, 2009
11th Circuit Certifies Florida Long-Arm Question
In Internet Solutions Corporation v. Marshall, Defendant lived in Washington, where she owned and operated a consumer-watchdogish website. She posted something about plaintiff, ISC. ISC sued Defendant in federal court -- in Florida, where ISC had its principal place of business. Florida's long-arm statute authorizes jurisdiction over a defendant who commits a tortious act "within Florida." The 11th Circuit first noted that:
The Florida Supreme Court has yet to address whether the posting of information on an out-of-state website about a company with its principal place of business in Florida would meet the statutory requirements for long-arm jurisdiction.
It then certified the question:
Does posting allegedly defamatory stories and comments about a company with its principal place of business in Florida on a non-commercial website owned and operated by a nonresident with no other connections to Florida constitute commission of a tortious act within Florida for purposes of Fla. Stat. s48.193(1)(b)?
February 9, 2009
Distinguishing Certification from Abstention
Prof. Deborah J. Challener recently posted Distinguishing Certification from Abstention in Diversity Cases: Postponement versus Abdication of the Duty to Exercise Jurisdiction. Click the title to download the article, which will appear in Volume 38 of the Rutgers Law Journal. --RR