Javorek v. Larson: Insurer's Obligation to Defend and Indemnify Insufficient to Establish Jurisdiction-Seider Sours in California
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With its recent decision in Javorek v. Larson, the California Supreme Court has joined the growing number of states which have rejected the exercise of jurisdiction based upon the quasi in rem attachment of automobile liability insurance policies. This particular jurisdictional basis was first recognized in the New York case of Seider v. Roth, where the insurer's obligation to defend and indemnify the insured was found to be an attachable debt, yielding jurisdiction to the plaintiff's home state of New York, even though the defendant was a Canadian resident and the accident occurred in Vermont. The only requirement of a Seider attachment is that the defendant's insurance company be licensed to conduct business in the plaintiffs home state. Seider has gained few followers and has been the target of considerable criticism. This note will analyze the Javorek court's rejection of Seider and its potential impact on other states. Additionally, some constitutional problems not raised in Javorek will be examined. Finally, some proposals will be made concerning current jurisdictional trends.
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