The California Appellate Law Podcast

The 9th Cir. “Reimagines” Diversity Jurisdiction

October 10, 2023 Tim Kowal & Jeff Lewis Season 1 Episode 104
The California Appellate Law Podcast
The 9th Cir. “Reimagines” Diversity Jurisdiction
Show Notes

The one sure thing your law-school loans purchased is instant recall of the fact that “federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.”

But not as limited today as when you signed your promissory note. We discuss Impossible Foods Inc. v. Impossible X LLC, the recent 9th Circuit decision holding that specific jurisdiction over a defendant may be based on general historical contacts, even though not connected to the claims in the case. Judge Van Dyke dissented, calling the majority’s holding “potentially the most radical reimagining and expansion of specific jurisdiction in decades.”

We also discuss:

  • Impeachment evidence improperly excluded at trial? Published authority says this is per se reversible, but a new case calls it harmless error. It’s not published, but its reasoning is sound.
  • Seeking costs-of-proof attorney fees because your adversary denied your RFAs? Some cases grant these fee motions liberally, but two recent cases caution that more precision is needed.
  • Appealing on a pure issue of law? You still need an oral record on appeal. Denial of petition to compel arbitration affirmed because of the lack of a reporter's transcript.
  • Startling: Ex-husband took out a life insurance policy on wife, naming himself beneficiary. Also startling: Court ordered him to change the beneficiary to wife’s favorite charity, and keep the policy current.
  • Uncivil attorney got a 40% fee cut. “Incivility between counsel is sand in the gears. … Excellent lawyers deserve higher fees, and excellent lawyers are civil.”

Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed.

Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page.

Sign up for Not To Be Published, Tim Kowal’s weekly legal update, or view his blog of recent cases.

The California Appellate Law Podcast thanks Casetext for sponsoring the podcast. Listeners receive a discount on Casetext Basic Research at The co-hosts, Jeff and Tim, were also invited to try Casetext’s newest technology, CoCounsel, the world’s first AI legal assistant. You can discover CoCounsel for yourself with a demo and free trial at

Other items discussed in the episode: