Minimum Contacts in Cyberspace: The Classic Jurisdiction Analysis in a New Setting

By Gray, Tricia Leigh | The Journal of High Technology Law, Annual 2002 | Go to article overview

Minimum Contacts in Cyberspace: The Classic Jurisdiction Analysis in a New Setting


Gray, Tricia Leigh, The Journal of High Technology Law


I. INTRODUCTION

Because no special law yet exits to address jurisdiction issues on the Internet, courts have been forced to apply traditional analyses of jurisdiction to cases in this new environment. Our traditional notions of jurisdiction have made a relatively smooth transition into cyberspace. Historically, jurisdictional requirements have centered on the locus and the activity of the parties as a means of determining which state's law to apply. (1) With the advent of the Internet and the new frontier of cyberspace, established ideas about where and how interactions take place must be re-considered in this unconventional, online environment. These sorts of issues affect a court's jurisdiction over parties interacting in cyberspace.

Surprisingly, our conventional notions of jurisdiction have adapted well to this new cyber-environment. This is illustrated by the report of the American Bar Association, which extends support to the minimum contacts analysis to determine jurisdiction over on-line parties. (2) Cyberspace has expanded the arena for interactions of all sorts, (3) and has provided another forum in which parties can reach out to each other from different locations, and possibly create the minimum contacts necessary for personal jurisdiction. (4) Traditional principles of jurisdiction are adaptable to cyberspace because they consider the physical location of the parties and the conduct they direct at the forum state. (5) These factors remain crucial to our current analysis of jurisdiction in cyberspace. (6)

Individuals and corporations continue to exist in real space, and continue to do business from one state, while targeting other states. We should continue to use the physical status of the parties as a starting point for jurisdictional analysis. This approach makes sense, because the application of the minimum contacts test to Internet jurisdiction simply extends the amenability to suit that already exists for parties. No new rules are necessary, because although the Internet is a new forum, parties, as always, exist in a physical space. The report of the American Bar Association and a review of current caselaw support this proposition.

II. THE MODERN CHALLENGE: PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND THE INTERNET

1. The Report of the American Bar Association

An important, and largely on-target, reexamination of the issue of jurisdiction in cyberspace began with a report by the American Bar Association, published in July 2000. (7) The report, titled ACHIEVING LEGAL AND BUSINESS ORDER IN CYBERSPACE: A REPORT ON GLOBAL JURISDICTION ISSUES CREATED BY THE INTERNET, is the cumulative effort of multiple sections of the bar, working groups, and international commentators. (8) Cyberlaw jurisdiction is discussed in both global and domestic forums. (9) The report tends to be more successful when considering domestic jurisdiction problems.

The goal of the ABA's report is to promote a legal infrastructure that will provide guidance to the new area of cyberlaw and the jurisdiction of courts over Internet-related litigation. (10) Despite its global overtones, the report's analysis stays squarely in the American traditional context of jurisdiction, which is rooted firmly in physicality and minimum contacts. (11) The anatomy of American jurisdiction in the new Internet environment is preserved by the ABA's report. (12) A less conventional approach would seem too far a departure from the caselaw that has already developed, which is discussed below. The notion of "minimum contacts", derived in 1945, has become and will likely remain the benchmark of jurisdiction in cyberlaw cases. (13)

The idea that the minimum contacts standard will continue to underwrite our jurisdictional analysis is reassuring for our domestic cases, but troubling for cases with international parties. The Constitution of the United States and its requirements of Due Process is unique, and is obviously not adopted in other countries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Minimum Contacts in Cyberspace: The Classic Jurisdiction Analysis in a New Setting
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.