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Dictum Run Wild: How Long-Arm Statutes Extended to the Limits of Due Process

51 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2011  

Douglas D. McFarland

Mitchell|Hamline School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2004

Abstract

Nearly fifty years ago, in the infancy of long-arm jurisdiction, the first major opinion interpreting the first state long-arm statute commented that “Sections 16 and 17 of the Civil Practice Act reflect a conscious purpose to assert jurisdiction over nonresident defendants to the extent permitted by the due-process clause.” That dictum – the author argues – has, over the ensuing half-century, become the most misunderstood and most misused concept in the entire field of personal jurisdiction. With little or no analysis, courts interpret enumerated acts long arm statutes to extend to the limits of due process. This article analyzes what the presiding court meant and what the dictum has come to mean.

Keywords: Personal jurisdiction, International Shoe, long-arm, Civil Practice Act, nonresident, Sections 16 and 17

Suggested Citation

McFarland, Douglas D., Dictum Run Wild: How Long-Arm Statutes Extended to the Limits of Due Process (January 1, 2004). Boston University Law Review, Vol. 84, p. 491, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1955531

Douglas D. McFarland (Contact Author)

Mitchell|Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States

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