Legal Newsline: Justice Reform Groups Continue Push for Venue, Jurisdiction Bills in Missouri Legislature

Phil Goldberg, director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Civil Justice and Don Gifford, a member of PPI’s Center for Civil Justice Advisory Board, were quoted in the Legal NewsLine about a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling:

“The ruling offers some clarity on jurisdiction rules in Missouri—as in, courts don’t have jurisdiction over out-of-state claims—but it doesn’t completely settle the issue that’s been so controversial in the state, Phil Goldberg, director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Civil Justice, told the St. Louis Record.

If someone has been wrongfully injured and they want to bring a lawsuit, they should be able to do so—but only in the place that makes sense for that lawsuit,” Goldberg said.

Part of the problem is fraudulent joinders. Joinder refers to the occasion when multiple parties join a lawsuit as co-plaintiffs or co-defendants. In Missouri, frustrations arise when parties are allowed to join a case without meeting jurisdiction requirements. A lawsuit may originate with a plaintiff who meets proper jurisdiction requirements, but then out-of-state plaintiffs attach their claims in a joinder. Proposed rule changes address that issue.

“We think joinder was never meant to get around venue and jurisdiction laws,” Goldberg said. “Venue laws and jurisdiction laws should be clear that if you’re not from Missouri and you don’t have venue or jurisdiction in Missouri, you don’t get to bring your lawsuit in Missouri.”

Read the rest of the article at the Legal NewsLine.

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