“How do I find an attorney to determine the right jurisdiction for a claim?”

Question: Where can I find the right lawyer who can determine which is the right jurisdiction to bring a claim of harassment/bullying against a USA company’s overseas office?

Sacramento, California

Answer: Dear James: Without getting too “legal-technical” on you . . .

(a)  There are two kinds of jurisdiction: (a) about the lawsuit (“Subject Matter” jurisdiction) and (b) that controls the defendant (“Personal” jurisdiction.) Your question seems to refer to Personal jurisdiction. In general, Personal jurisdiction can be brought wherever the Defendant “resides” or “transacts business.”

(b) For a company, “resides” means maintains a primary or principal office. So, if the company has its corporate headquarters in your town, or if it has a good-sized office there, it should be deemed to “reside” there, and for that reason be subject to lawsuits there.

(c)  For a company, “transacts business” there means takes part in regular activities there. So, if a company regularly does business with its customers in your town, it should be considered to  “transact business” there, and should for that reason be subject to lawsuits there. 

(d) Jurisdictional analysis can be made by most attorneys. Though attorneys may differ on whether a certain Court has Personal jurisdiction, and that is a question that often comes up, it is usually an analysis that any competent lawyer can make. No certain attorney, wherever he or she is licensed, should have a very difficult time making such an analysis, although like everything else in the legal world, the proper answer may not be entirely easy, depending on you and your claim’s unique events, facts and circumstances.

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           Best, Al Sklover   

© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.