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http://ssrn.com/abstract=706629
 
 

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Jurisdiction and the Internet: Returning to Traditional Principles to Analyze Network-Mediated Contacts


A. Benjamin Spencer


Washington & Lee University School of Law


University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Courts have been evaluating the issue of personal jurisdiction based on Internet or "network-mediated" contacts for some time. The U.S. Supreme Court has remained silent on this issue, permitting the federal appeals courts to develop standards for determining when personal jurisdiction based on network-mediated contacts is appropriate. Unfortunately, the circuit approaches - which emphasize a website's "interactivity" and "target audience" - are flawed because they are premised on an outdated view of Internet activity as uncontrollably ubiquitous. This view has led courts to depart from traditional jurisdictional analysis and impose elevated and misguided jurisdictional standards. This Article argues that courts should reinstitute traditional principles to analyze jurisdiction based on network-mediated contacts because of current technology that enables Internet actors to restrict the geographical reach of their virtual conduct. Such a return will be fairer for plaintiffs while recognizing the legitimate due process rights of defendants.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: Personal Jurisdiction, Internet, Website, Jurisdiction, Zippo, International Shoe, Pennoyer

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Date posted: April 25, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Spencer, A. Benjamin, Jurisdiction and the Internet: Returning to Traditional Principles to Analyze Network-Mediated Contacts. University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=706629

Contact Information

A. Benjamin Spencer (Contact Author)
Washington & Lee University School of Law ( email )
Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8219 (Phone)
540-458-8488 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://law.wlu.edu/faculty/profiledetail.asp?id=241
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