February 25, 2010

Corporate Citizenship Simplified: The Hertz Corporation v. Friend

The U.S. Supreme Court has brought clarity and predictability to an area of law that seldom can boast either. For more than 50 years, litigants have found it difficult to predict where a corporation’s “principal place of business” was for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1), and have been obliged to engage in costly collateral litigation concerning not the merits of the case but where it belonged. That ended Feb. 23, 2010, when Justice Stephen Breyer, delivering the unanimous opinion of the Court, boiled the former grocery list of ingredients that determine a corporation’s principal place of business down to just one – its headquarters.

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