Personal Jurisdiction Based on Internet Activities: Oldfield v. Pueblo de Bahia Lora, S.A. - The Eleventh Circuit Finally Discusses Zippo but Leaves Lower Courts Needing More Guidance

11 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 53 (2009)

21 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020

See all articles by Judy Clausen

Judy Clausen

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

More than a decade ago, the most widely embraced test for determining whether a nonresident defendant's Internet presence satisfied the minimum contacts requirement of due process emerged in Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc. After Zippo, the nation's courts have largely used the Zippo sliding scale to determine whether a nonresident defendant's Internet conduct subjects the defendant to personal jurisdiction in the forum where a plaintiff encounters the Internet activities. Until Oldfield v. Pueblo De Bahia Lora, S.A. in 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had not directly addressed Internet presence as a basis for minimum contacts and had never even cited Zippo. Due to this vacuum of direction, Eleventh Circuit district courts have had a mixed, even contradictory reception of Zippo. In Oldfield, the Eleventh Circuit squarely refused to express any opinion on the applicability of Zippo to the case at hand or Zippo's applicability in the Eleventh Circuit generally.

This Article explores two main issues that arise from Oldfield. The first is Oldfield's missed opportunity to define Zippo's role in the Eleventh Circuit. Oldfield should have clarified that Zippo has no place in general jurisdiction analysis. The second main issue in Oldfield explored in this Article is the Eleventh Circuit's return to traditional personal jurisdiction analysis with an apparent slight variation of the traditional framework.

Suggested Citation

Clausen, Judy, Personal Jurisdiction Based on Internet Activities: Oldfield v. Pueblo de Bahia Lora, S.A. - The Eleventh Circuit Finally Discusses Zippo but Leaves Lower Courts Needing More Guidance (2009). 11 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 53 (2009), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3607517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3607517

Judy Clausen (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

PO Box 357069
Gainesville, FL 32635
United States
19044125999 (Phone)

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