The U.S. Chamber urged the Missouri Supreme Court to clarify that plaintiffs cannot use the joinder mechanism to bring suit in jurisdictions where venue is improper. In this case, the trial court held that nonresident plaintiffs may sue out-of-state corporations based on conduct that occurred entirely outside the state, as long as the out-of-state plaintiffs are joined together with at least one plaintiff whose claim belongs in that forum. The Chamber’s amicus brief argued that this “venue-by-joinder” theory is incompatible with Missouri law, including Missouri rules of civil procedure. As a practical matter, the “venue-by-joinder” theory makes it more difficult for out-of-state businesses to control or predict where in Missouri they will be subject to suit, which in turn could discourage them from investing in Missouri in order to avoid notoriously plaintiff-friendly litigation magnets, such as the St. Louis courts where this case arose.
The St. Louis Regional Chamber and the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber in the brief.
Robert J. Wagner of Thompson Coburn LLP and Andrew J. Pincus and Archis A. Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP served as counsel for the amici.