Quote of the day—Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley

There is nothing in the record that supports the conclusion that defendants knew or should have known that sales of guns in their home states were having consequences in New York.

A particularly troubling aspect of the jurisdictional analysis conducted below is the reliance on what the district judge termed the defendants’ “cumulative parallel conduct” as a basis for establishing personal jurisdiction. According to the district court’s theory, although the “out-of-state activities of a single defendant alone may not suffice to establish jurisdiction,” because of “knowing parallel conduct, the extent of the combined harm may provide a basis for jurisdiction over each one.” 501 F. Supp. 2d at 422. The New York Court of Appeals has never adopted a theory pursuant to which combined or parallel conduct may be relied upon to establish a basis for the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a defendant when jurisdiction does not otherwise exist.

The district court determined that an “inflexible application of a traditional jurisdictional analysis that fails to take account of unique practical commercial factors does not effectively insure the fair and orderly administration of the law.” Id. at 419. The court preferred to adopt what it termed a “reality-based pragmatic jurisdictional analysis.” Id. However, the district court was not free to depart from “traditional jurisdictional analysis” in order to hold defendants subject to suit in New York. The “fair and orderly administration of the law” is best achieved by applying the same standards to all litigants and by adherence to well-defined legal principles.

The district court’s jurisdictional analysis undermines the protection afforded to out-of-state defendants by section 302(a)(3)(ii). As both this Court and the New York Court of Appeals have previously explained, this provision “is intended to ensure some link between a defendant and New York State to make it reasonable to require a defendant to come to New York to answer for tortious conduct committed elsewhere.” LaMarca, 95 N.Y.2d at 215 (quoting Ingraham, 90 15 N.Y.2d at 598). The relevant long-arm provision is specifically “designed to . . . preclude the exercise of jurisdiction over nondomiciliaries who might cause direct, foreseeable injury within the State but ‘whose business operations are of a local character.’” Id. (quoting Ingraham, 90 N.Y.2d at 599). Here, it is indisputable that defendants’ businesses are of a local character.

The district court also asserted that “[t]here is no specific dollar threshold at which revenue becomes substantial for purposes of [section] 302(a)(3)(ii).”7 501 F. Supp. 2d at 417. Even if this is so, it was error to excuse the City from making any showing that defendants derived substantial revenue from interstate commerce.

Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The City of New York, Plaintiff-Appellee, – v – Mickalis Pawn Shop, LLC,
May 4, 2011
[What isn’t, but should be, said is that “the district court” is Federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein. Weinstein has long used tortuous chains of logic that blatantly violate due process, existing law, and previous decisions to arrive at anti-gun conclusions. This is not the first time Weinstein has been overturned on decisions he has made regarding firearms. His rulings have been so biased and clearly wrong they have frequently been overturned.

Mayor Bloomberg, the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun bigots have never had anything but praise for him and take advantage of his bias against gun ownership.

As Sebastian said, Judge Weinstein’s Game is Hopefully Over. He is now 90 years old and it is time for him to retire into the dustbin of history.—Joe]