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Supreme Court Reinstates Statutory “Consent” to General Personal Jurisdiction


On June 27, 2023, the United States Supreme Court decided Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 2023 WL 4187749, 600 U.S. ___ (June 27, 2023), a decision that likely will reinvigorate forum-shopping efforts by plaintiffs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and possibly elsewhere. The decision—supported by a plurality of Justices and the concurrence of Justice Alito—upholds a Pennsylvania law that requires out-of-state corporations registering to do business in Pennsylvania to consent to general personal jurisdiction within the Commonwealth. Overlooking decades of personal jurisdiction jurisprudence, Mallory reinstates a form of personal jurisdiction previously cast by many courts as a dead letter: general jurisdiction by statutory “consent.”

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