Many states have laws that require a foreign company to consent to general personal jurisdiction in that state as a condition of registering to do business in a state. Since the Supreme Court ruling in Daimler AG v Bauman, 571 US 117 (2014), which tightened the scope of general personal jurisdiction doctrine, lower courts have grappled with the question of whether these mandatory consent laws are constitutional and, more broadly, whether Registration to conduct business in a state can be viewed as consent to general personal jurisdiction in that state.

The Georgia Supreme Court decision of September 21 in the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company v. McCall, 220G1368, may be an important piece of legislation in this regard and is certainly important for any company not registered in Georgia to do business in the state. In the Cooper Tire case, the Georgia court went directly to the question of whether the state precedent of placing a foreign corporation under the general personal jurisdiction of the state survived Daimler and his descendants. The court found that although this precedent was “in tension” with the decisions of the Supreme Court, “for constitutional reasons it cannot be overridden”. In other words, registration in the Georgia state courts means you are subject to general personal jurisdiction.

This area of ​​law is ripe for further developments in the Supreme Court and legislation. Companies registered to do business in multiple states would be well advised to review the laws and precedents of those states to see if they have consented to general personal jurisdiction based on their registration. And if so, whether they want to question themselves as another model case in the still developing case law.