August 2, 2013

Summary of July 31, 2013 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

Daimler AG v. Superior Court of Sacramento County (Pierson), S210847—Review Granted and Held—July 31, 2013

The question presented is whether it violates due process for a California court to exercise general personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation based solely on the fact that an indirect corporate subsidiary performs services on behalf of the defendant in California.

Petitioner Daimler AG, a German corporation, has an indirect U.S. subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), which is domiciled in New Jersey. MBUSA performed services for Daimler AG in California pursuant to a Distributor Agreement between the companies. Daimler AG filed a motion to quash service of summons for lack of personal jurisdiction on the ground that it had no significant contacts with California. The Sacramento Superior Court denied the motion, imputing MBUSA’s contacts to Daimler AG on a theory of agency (the “representative services doctrine”). The Court of Appeal summarily denied Daimler AG’s petition for a peremptory writ of mandate. The California Supreme Court granted review but deferred further action pending the United States Supreme Court’s decision in DaimlerChrysler AG v. Bauman (cert. granted April 22, 2013, 133 S.Ct. 1995). Bauman is set for oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court on October 15, 2013.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)




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