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TCH-IIB File Amicus in Schwab v. Bank of America

The Clearing House (TCH) CH and the IIB filed a joint amicus brief challenging the plaintiff’s (Schwab) ability to meet “specific jurisdiction,” which requires a defendant to have certain “minimum contacts” with a state before being subject to suit there. Schwab asserts that the district court can exercise jurisdiction over defendants whose subsidiaries or other corporate affiliates may have had sufficient contacts in California. Schwab also asserts that the district court can exercise jurisdiction over each defendant because an alleged co-conspirator sold financial instruments in California. TCH and the IIB argue two things: (i) Schwab’s position ignores that specific personal jurisdiction exists only where the defendant personally and purposefully engaged in suit-related conduct in the forum state; and (ii) adopting Schwab’s vicarious-jurisdiction theories would violate due process and could impermissibly subject member banks to jurisdiction everywhere.