Attributing One Party’s Contacts with the Forum State to Another: Conspiracy Jurisdiction in Alabama

Alabama Lawyer, Vol. 71, No. 4, p. 304, July 2010

7 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2010

See all articles by McKay Cunningham

McKay Cunningham

Concordia University School of Law

Date Written: June 10, 2010

Abstract

You don’t reside in the forum state. You have no office there, no personal representative to receive service on your behalf, no advertising targeted toward the forum state and you have not personally conducted business in the forum state. But you have a business associate who has. When your business associate is sued, can the court attribute his contacts with the forum state to you? What if the claimant alleges that you and your business associate conspired or are agents of one another? In other words, what effect does one defendant’s personal relationship with a foreign defendant have on the constitutional limits articulated in the “minimum contacts” analysis?

Attributing the jurisdictional contacts of one conspirator to his co-conspirator as an independent source of jurisdiction is deceptively attractive. It greatly simplifies the jurisdictional analysis. Instead of evaluating contacts under due process standards (International Shoe etc.), the court simply decides whether there was a conspiracy – a question more easily answered. But serious constitutional questions cloud its validity.

Suggested Citation

Cunningham, McKay, Attributing One Party’s Contacts with the Forum State to Another: Conspiracy Jurisdiction in Alabama (June 10, 2010). Alabama Lawyer, Vol. 71, No. 4, p. 304, July 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1667025

McKay Cunningham (Contact Author)

Concordia University School of Law ( email )

501 W. Front St
Boise, ID 83702
United States

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