Internet Web Site Jurisdiction


Richard A. Bales & Suzanne Van Wert


VOL. XX • Fall 2001 • NO. 1 (table of contents)

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The Internet is here to stay. Consequently, disputes in this cyberspace are heard in courts nationwide, and one of the most fundamental litigation questions is the personal jurisdiction. In this article, the authors discuss the difficulties courts have in defining the degree of interaction between the Web site operator and online users.

The authors first discuss the background of how courts tackle the personal jurisdiction issue. Then, as the society leaps into the cyberspace, authors analyze how this great development in technology and communications creates challenges to courts in grounding personal jurisdictional issues. By going through case analyses, authors show how courts struggled in this endeavor. Authors further discuss five academic proposals to resolving the online personal jurisdiction issue, new test for "interactivity," the "highway approach," the use of "effects test" from Calder v. Jones, focus on the "nature and quality of the commercial activity," and a three-step analysis of "cyber" jurisdiction issue.

In the end, authors organize these theories and proposals to form their suggestions in tackling the personal jurisdiction issue on the Internet.

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