William & Mary Law Review


Under what circumstances may a United States court exercise personal jurisdiction over alien defendants? Courts and commentators have yet to offer a coherent response to this question. That is surprising given that scholars have been calling for the globalization of U.S. law since the late 1980s as part of a transnational litigation narrative.

Through doctrinal and empirical analysis, this Article argues that a U.S. court should have power to exercise personal jurisdiction over an alien defendant not served with process within a state’s borders when (1) the defendant has received constitutionally adequate notice, (2) the state has a constitutionally sufficient interest in applying its law or adjudicating a controversy involving its domiciliaries, and (3) the policies of other interested nations whose laws would be arguably applicable are given due respect and consideration and would not be adversely affected by the exercise of jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction in transnational cases is, therefore, about choice of law. This Article revises the transnational personal jurisdiction doctrine through a concrete set of rules for courts to apply given the parties and laws at issue before a court.