July 16, 2018 Articles

When Wonderland Is Really a Bleak House: Reid v. Siniscalchi, Due Process and Plaintiff Abuse in “Conspiracy Theory” Jurisdiction

Measures to prevent the misuse of conspiracy theory jurisdiction against non-resident defendants

by Paul J. Vincenti and Elyse C. Pillitteri

In Reid v. Siniscalchi, No. 2874-VCS, 2018 Del. Ch. LEXIS 37 (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2018), the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed plaintiff Dennis A. Reid’s derivative action against Italian satellite manufacturers Finmeccanica, SpA, Alcatel Alenia Space Italia SpA and Alenia Spazio (hereafter referred to as “the foreign defendants”) for lack of personal jurisdiction. As the court held, the factual basis for Reid’s “conspiracy theory” of personal jurisdiction, pursuant to which a non-resident defendant can be haled into court based on actions undertaken in the forum by the defendant’s alleged co-conspirators, was disproven by the foreign defendants. Reid did not appeal this dismissal, and the case is now closed.

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