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SCOTUS Review: The Impact of Recent Decisions on Jurisdiction and Venue

(576 reviews)

Produced on December 13, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Constitutional Litigation

Course Description

In the spring of 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a trilogy of cases that addressed issues of venue, general personal jurisdiction and specific personal jurisdiction - see TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017); BNSF Railway v. Tyrell, 137 S. Ct. 1549 (2017); Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of Cal., 137 S.Ct. 1773 (2017).

This course, presented by Dechert attorneys Debra O’Gorman, Katherine Wyman, and Will Sachse, will discuss and analyze these decisions and the manner in which they have been interpreted since they came down. The Bristol-Myers Squibb decision in particular has had immediate and far-reaching implications in mass tort cases brought in states where neither the plaintiff nor defendant reside, and continued reverberations are expected. The course will delve into the factors applicable to determining whether a corporate defendant is subject to jurisdiction, and will also include practical tips for determining the proper forum to initiate a lawsuit, the preservation of jurisdictional defenses and asserting challenges to jurisdiction, including in cases pending prior to these decisions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss updates on the recent Supreme Court decisions shaping the law in this area
  2. Identify factors relevant to determining where a defendant “resides” for jurisdictional purposes
  3. Define what these decisions mean for future forum shopping
  4. Provide tools for determining the proper forum to initiate a lawsuit, preservation of defenses and available jurisdictional challenges, including whether jurisdictional challenges can be raised where they were not pursued previously
  5. Address strategic implications of “shattering” the litigation or forcing the litigation to be brought in defendant’s home state
  6. Analyze the impact of jurisdictional challenges on statutes of limitations and tolling doctrines

Credit Information

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Debra O'Gorman

Dechert LLP

Debra D. O’Gorman counsels clients in product liability and mass tort litigation, particularly in product liability actions involving over-the-counter and prescription drugs. She has extensive experience in expert and fact witness development, as well as expert and fact depositions and the preparation of defense witnesses for testimony. 

Ms. O’Gorman was an active member of several trial teams in cases around the country alleging injury from Tylenol use, as well as the trial team that successfully challenged a Mexican company’s attempt to have its foreign bankruptcy plan approved in the United States. She has also played a key role in cases involving claims against sovereign debtors, as well as the defense of a foreign bank. Ms. O’Gorman has successfully managed document discovery in a broad range of cases and has helped to utilize technology to bring efficiencies to the process. 

Ms. O’Gorman also participated in the briefing of a summary judgment motion, the success of which was hailed as one of the most significant products liability rulings of 2010. In that case, the court ruled that plaintiff’s experts failed to pass the Frye test and dismissed plaintiff’s claims.

Ms. O'Gorman was a member of the Dechert litigation team recognized as part of the Financial Times’ 2013 Top U.S. Innovative Law Firms for their “standout” work acting as lead counsel for an ad hoc group of creditors in connection with the highly contested cross-border restructuring of approximately $1.6 billion in defaulted senior notes issued by Mexico's largest glass manufacturer, Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. This precedent-setting case marked the first time that U.S. courts clarified the standards and requirements for global businesses that file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. In 2014, she was also a member of the team “highly commended” by the Financial Times’ Top 40 North American Innovative Law Firms for their representation of Argentina’s two largest creditors – with combined claims for over US$3.5 billion – in multi-national litigation and judgment enforcement proceedings. The matter concluded in a victory before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ms. O'Gorman presented the sole witness in a trial that resulted in an $85 million judgment on behalf of creditors of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a lawsuit to recover on defaulted sovereign debt and in the fall of 2014 she acted as the primary trial attorney for a creditor/objector in the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceeding. 

Ms. O'Gorman is also actively committed to pro bono initiatives. She heads the firm’s involvement in a program to provide legal advice to litigants in family court throughout New York City and has received pro bono awards from several organizations.

Will Sachse

Dechert LLP

Will Sachse’s practice focuses on defending product liability and consumer fraud claims, as well as antitrust and commercial litigation. Mr. Sachse has worked with clients in a myriad of industries on disputes involving pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices, chemicals, asbestos, forest products, building products, tobacco, consumer products, telecommunications, airlines, and sovereign debt. 

Mr. Sachse has been recognized by The Legal 500 United States since 2013 for his product liability and mass tort defense practice within the pharmaceuticals and medical devices industry. In 2011, Mr. Sachse was named by Law360 as one of five product liability lawyers under 40 to watch.

Mr. Sachse has lectured on defeating consumer fraud and class action claims, has served as a panelist for The American Law Journal’s Law TV, and has written articles and blog posts on issues relating to consumer fraud, products liability, and class actions.

Katherine Wyman

Dechert LLP

Katherine Wyman focuses her practice on litigation matters, with a particular emphasis on complex commercial litigation, securities litigation and government investigations. Ms. Wyman’s experience also includes employment and bankruptcy matters. She represents individuals and companies in the financial services, technology, and life sciences industries.


Yale College, B.A., 2007, magna cum laude, with Distinction in the Literature and International Studies majors 

Harvard Law School, J.D., 2010, cum laude, Executive Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender

Court Admissions

United States District Court for the District of Columbia 

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

New York 

District of Columbia 




jeffrey h.

By far the best course I have taken this year

Robert C.

WOW ! Amazing CLE - Thank you so much!

jeffrey s.

This is one of the best Lawline CLEs I’ve taken. I’m in the midst of preparing for oral argument on the issue of specific personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation under BSM and this was immensely helpful.

Laticia A.

I’ve taken a number of courses with Lawline & I’ve really come to appreciate the 3-person teaching dynamics. Love to see more. Great presentation!

Weston W.

This was a very helpful discussion of these cases. The panel covered them from majority and dissent, defendant and plaintiff perspectives. It addressed their impacts.

David W.

Important topic. Game-changing decisions discussed. Tremendous and necessary seminar.

Steve S.

Excellent course

Dava K.

This was a very informative CLE that had multiple practice pointers, which is unusual and quite welcome when discussing the impact of recent cases.

William D.


Katherine D.

I really like having a panel of presenters.

stephen p.

very good

Robert S.

Good Program

Christopher M.

intelligent fast moving

Rachel C. B.

Very clear and well-edited presentation!

James S.

Very interesting and timely. Thanks.

Scott J.

Excellent summary of PJ

Michael W.

Great overview of this rapidly developing area

Dwight B.


T. O.

Presenters O'Gorman, Sachse and Wyman worked very well together and gave a clear and concise presentation. Thank you to each of them and to LAWLINE for a first-rate program!

Kevin S.

Very good thank you

Clarence S.

Excellent presentation of new jurisdictional rules and developing areas in jurisdiction.

Christina Marie F.

Thank you.

Joshua R.

Great stuff, might want to consider an hour and half next time since this stuff can be dense.

Allen J.


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