Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. v. Regal-Beloit Corp. (The K-Line Case)

United States Supreme Court
561 U.S. 89 (2010)


Regal-Beloit Corporation (Regal) (plaintiff) arranged for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. and its agent “K” Line America, Inc. (K-Line) (defendants) to ship goods from China to the inland United States. A single through bill of lading was issued to cover both the overseas and the inland legs of the shipment. The bill of lading contained a forum-selection clause setting jurisdiction in Tokyo, Japan. The goods arrived in California by ship and were then loaded for rail shipment by the Union Pacific Railroad Company (plaintiff). During the inland rail transportation, a train derailment destroyed the goods. Regal brought suit for damages in California state court. K-Line removed the case to the United States District Court for the Central District of California and filed a motion to dismiss based on the forum-selection clause contained within the through bill of lading. The district court granted K-Line’s motion to dismiss. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded, holding that the rail shipment was subject to the Carmack Amendment (Carmack), 49 U.S.C. § 11706(a), which preempted the forum-selection clause. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 222,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.