Monday, March 07, 2005

Roy v. Superior Court (Cal. App. Ct. - March 3, 2005)

What I absolutely love about this opinion is that Justice McKinster can't seem to fathom why any judicial system would possibly adopt the position that a defendant should be allowed to answer a complaint and simultaneously preserve the defense of personal jurisdiction. Of course, both the federal system and the majority of "enlightened" states have indeed adopted precisely such a view. Even though I think the prevailing approach is far superior to California's, I won't defend it here. I'll just note that I found it amusing that Justice McKinster -- after a fair consideration of the issue -- couldn't possibly imagine why the federal system might be superior, and that his only attempt (in footnote 4) to explain why the federal system might choose to operate how it does is way off base.

On the merits, Justice McKinster gets it right. The (very sloppy) California Legislature did not intend to -- and did not -- change California's prevailing practice, which still requires a special appearance and doesn't adopt the federal approach. But I bet you'll see a change in 30 years. Once we catch up to the rest of the world.