Thursday, September 26, 2019

D.C. Circuit Oral Argument in Molock v. Whole Foods: Personal Jurisdiction & Class Actions

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in Molock v. Whole Foods Market, Inc., which addresses the extent to which the Supreme Court’s 2017 Bristol-Myers decision on personal jurisdiction applies to class actions.

Here is the oral argument recording.

Here’s coverage from Perry Cooper, Whole Foods Appeals Court Tries to Avoid Jurisdictional Issue (Bloomberg).

And here’s what can happen in the Whole Foods parking lot.


Class Actions, In the News | Permalink


There was an interesting exchange in the first ten minutes when Judge Tatel basically made the argument that because putative class members are nonparties, there's not yet a jurisdictional issue involving them until the class has been certified. There's something to that. But wouldn't it also be odd to shift personal jurisdiction from its normally primary position at the first stage in the lawsuit to several months down the road after discovery etc.? How does waiver of the issue then work under Rule 12? And what would the remedy be: denial of class certification, dismissal of the entire action, or reformation of the class to strip out those plaintiffs whose claims do not subject the defendant to PJ?

Posted by: Scott Dodson | Sep 27, 2019 8:32:14 AM

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