The Underappreciated Importance of Personal Jurisdiction in Delaware's Success

48 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2013 Last revised: 14 Aug 2014

Date Written: June 2, 2014


The judges of the Delaware Court of Chancery are aggressively trying to stop stockholder/plaintiffs from filing corporate law cases outside of Delaware. Delaware believes that its position as the center of corporate litigation is in danger because cases are no longer filed exclusively there. If litigation continues to flow away from Delaware, it would jeopardize Delaware’s prominence in corporate law and the large revenues Delaware receives from out of state businesses that are incorporated there.

I argue that scholars and the Delaware judges underappreciate the vital importance of personal jurisdiction over corporate directors in Delaware’s quest to become and remain the center of corporate litigation. I show that Delaware’s dominance in litigation in large part stemmed from, and is now dependent upon, its unique system of personal jurisdiction.

None of Delaware’s attempts to stop cases from flowing out of Delaware will be enduringly successful without addressing the weaknesses in its current personal jurisdiction statute. I argue that Delaware should adopt a new statute that both will remedy the current flaws and will be effective in encouraging stockholder/plaintiffs to litigate in Delaware.

Keywords: corporate, Delaware, personal jurisdiction

JEL Classification: K22, K41

Suggested Citation

Chiappinelli, Eric A., The Underappreciated Importance of Personal Jurisdiction in Delaware's Success (June 2, 2014). 63 DePaul L. Rev. 911 (2014), Available at SSRN:

Eric A. Chiappinelli (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )

1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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