Perkins Coie’s claim of “stateless” entity wins at federal appeals court level. Is Supreme Court next?
Just The News:
The Perkins Coie law firm that helped Hillary Clinton’s campaign fund the now-debunked Steele dossier is using a China excuse to avoid being sued for defamation by former Trump adviser Carter Page. And so far, it is working.
“Three Perkins Coie partners are ‘stateless’ U.S. citizens domiciled in China,” the lawyers representing the firm and the Democratic National Committee argued in an appellate brief earlier this year. “That statelessness is imputed to Perkins Coie and forecloses the existence of complete diversity of citizenship in this case.” File 23 – 2021.02.16 – Appellee DNC Brief.pdf
In a little noticed ruling in late June, the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago accepted the Washington D.C.-based firm’s claim that it was a “stateless” entity that can’t be sued in federal court.
“In response to our concerns regarding subject matter jurisdiction, Perkins Coie submitted affidavits from three individual partners who are U.S. citizens domiciled in China: Yun (Louise) Lu, Scott Palmer, and James M. Zimmerman,” the court noted.
“We adhere to this same reasoning and conclude that Perkins Coie (as a named defendant) takes on the stateless status of its individual partners Lu, Palmer, and Zimmerman,” it added. “This attribution of statelessness destroys complete diversity and deprived the district court of the power to hear this case. File USCOURTS-ca7-20-02781-0.pdf
The appellate judges acknowledged the legal theory of federal court immunity for “stateless” entities was novel and based on laws created before the rise of multinational corporations and it may be ripe for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. read more