In case readers haven’t noticed, the U.S. Supreme Court has been busy issuing recent rulings that can affect litigation practice. In my column last month, the Court’s pronouncement on sanctions for discovery misconduct was discussed. Since then the nation’s high court has: (1) issued a significant decision on May 30 rejecting general jurisdiction over a defendant in a state where that defendant was neither incorporated nor headquartered (BNSF R. Co. v. Tyrrell, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3395); (2) held on May 22 that service of process of a foreign defendant by mail is permitted by the terms of the Hague Service Convention, provided the foreign country has not objected to such service by mail (Water Splash v. Menon, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3212); and (3) ruled on May 15 that a nursing home’s arbitration agreement had to be enforced as preempting tort claims for injuries filed in Kentucky courts (Kindred Nursing Centers L.P. v. Clark, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2948).
Because this article discusses three decisions of broad sweep and space here is limited, our focus is on the pith and substance of each ruling and its likely impact for the practitioner, rather than describing the thicket of facts and circumstances considered by the courts below in each case. If a particular topic resonates with the reader, he or she can take it from there as far as the details go.
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