PJ study questions: International Shoe v. Washington

Be prepared to answer the questions posed below.

Study questions pre-Shoe:

  1. Is the “law” of Pennoyer a rule or a standard?
  2. Why does the court hold that there was PJ in Hess v. Pawloski? Was it because defendant Hess was served at home via registered mail? Was it because plaintiff Pawloski made service on the Massachusetts state “registrar?”
  3. Take a fresh look at the Pennoyer handout. Under Pennoyer, would service on Hess out of state at home in Pennsylvania suffice for in personam jurisdiction? Might that explain why the Massachusetts statute required service on an in-state registrar?
  4. Did Hess really “consent” to appointment of the Massachusetts registrar? Or is the court deeming Hess to consent?

Study questions about Shoe:

  1. International Shoe is the leading modern case on personal jurisdiction, although it does not provide the final word on PJ. Keep in mind that your understanding of the law of PJ will evolve with each new case.
  2. In International Shoe, one of the defendant’s salespeople was served personally in Washington. Was that enough to establish PJ over the defendant? Why or why not? Hint: does the court consider the service on the salesperson to be relevant?
  3. How does International Shoe modify Pennoyer‘s two principles of public law? Does it overrule Pennoyer entirely? In part? If so, which part or parts?
  4. How does International Shoe recast Hess?  Put differently, does the court still think that “implied consent” was enough for PJ over Hess, or does the court think that Hess had enough contacts with the forum state of Massachusetts?
  5. Is International Shoe a rule or a standard? In his concurrence, what does Justice Black think about the law set out in Shoe? Does he like it? Why or why not?
  6. The “find the rule” portion of our show: What is the law of PJ under International Shoe? Identify the “rule,” i.e., find key language that provides the law. Note that International Shoe is “chock full ‘o law.” Be prepared to tell me what the Court says the law is.

Do it yourself:

Fun Project! Look at the minimum contacts table below.

  1. Print this out, including the table. Bring it to class to mark up.
  2. What box in the table best describes the facts of International Shoe? A, B, C, or D?
  3. Reread International Shoe, starting on CB pg. 165. Identify the portions of the opinion that correspond to each of the four boxes in the table below. Label the parts of the text text in CB 165-66 that correspond to boxes A, B, C, and D. Be prepared to tell me which parts of the opinion correspond to the boxes below.

MC table. Here’s a chart based partially on my own materials and partially on materials from Richard D. Freer, Introduction to Civil Procedure 72 (Aspen Pub. 2006).  This chart requires you to look at 1) the nature & quality of the contacts; and 2) the relation of the claim to the contacts.

A caveat about the chart: this is not the entire minimum contacts analysis, but rather a way to conceptualize the International Shoe case. Later cases expand on the steps of the analysis, and significantly modify the framework below.

Contacts single, isolated, occasional, or casual Contacts systematic and continuous 

Specific jurisdiction

Contacts give rise to the claim


MAYBE: Specific Jurisdiction might or might not exist.


EASY: Specific Jurisdiction likely does exist.

General jurisdiction

Contacts unrelated to the claim


EASY: General Jurisdiction does not exist.


MAYBE: General Jurisdiction might or might not exist.

Questions and table substantially Aug. 25, 2016