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http://ssrn.com/abstract=939075
 
 

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The Action Bias in American Law: Internet Jurisdiction and the Triumph of Zippo Dot Com


Richard K. Greenstein


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law


Temple Law Review, Vol. 80, p. 21, 2007
Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 30

Abstract:     
American law reflects the stories we tell ourselves about who we are as a nation. To illustrate the effect of America's stories on the law, I identify and describe in this essay a particular characteristic of American law: an actionbias - a propensity to bestow disproportionately greater legal significance upon affirmative acts than on failures to act - and I argue that this bias reflects, in turn, a powerful myth at the core of the self-image of the United States, a myth I call the Immigrant's Tale.

To illustrate this thesis, I give a number of instances of the action bias, but focus primarily on the career of an important federal district court decision: Zippo Manufacturing Company v. Zippo Dot Com, the case that formulated the framework now used almost universally in the determination of personal jurisdiction in Internet cases.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: story, narrative, internet, personal jurisdiction, myth, Zippo Dot Com

JEL Classification: K41

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Date posted: October 22, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Greenstein, Richard K., The Action Bias in American Law: Internet Jurisdiction and the Triumph of Zippo Dot Com. Temple Law Review, Vol. 80, p. 21, 2007; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 30. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=939075

Contact Information

Richard K. Greenstein (Contact Author)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
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