North Carolina Supreme Court Looks to Post-hiring Relationship in Assessing Specific Jurisdiction Over Nonresident Defendant
By Paul V. Esposito
In determining whether specific jurisdiction exists over a nonresident defendant in an employment dispute, a court may consider the defendant’s conduct post-hiring. Schaeffer v. SingleCare Holdings, LLC, 2023 N.C. LEXIS 271 (4/6/23). After defendant hired plaintiff and allowed him to move to North Carolina, plaintiff conducted substantial activities for defendant there. Defendant also made other connections in the state. For jurisdictional purposes, it was irrelevant that plaintiff’s relationship with defendant started outside North Carolina. Under the totality of circumstances, defendant’s intentional pursuit of business activities in North Carolina after the relationship began was sufficient to establish specific jurisdiction. And defendant allegedly broke in North Carolina the promises it made to plaintiff elsewhere—the subject of the lawsuit.