Feb. 23 2018 - Troy McKenzie, a professor at the NYU School of Law, was the latest presenter in the 2018 Distinguished Speaker Series on Monday at the University of Houston Law Center. He spoke about the Supreme Court's renewed interest in cases involving personal jurisdiction, the jurisdictional doctrine that concerns a court's ability to render a binding judgment against the defending party.
McKenzie focused first on the past, offering insights into the Court's previous personal jurisdiction decisions by looking to the Justices' internal papers and internal court memos generated by their clerks.
Then, pivoting to the present, McKenzie explored possible explanations for the Court's renewed interest in the subject after a 20-year absence from the field. Noting that the Court "has put personal jurisdiction back on its agenda — and with a vengeance," McKenzie pointed out that since the 2010 term "the Court has decided five significant cases in the area. The Court seems once again interested in potentially developing a personal jurisdiction doctrine."
McKenzie's broad-ranging discussion considered political, social, and economic reasons behind the recent doctrinal developments in the Court's personal jurisdiction jurisprudence.
Ruth Mason, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, will serve as the next speaker in the series on Feb. 29.