Jurisdiction Argument Worth Zippo

This is an important decision, called Heidle v. The Prospect Reef Resort, Ltd. and reported by the fine Internet Cases website. Read Evan Brown’s treatment. The bottom line: The mere fact that someone has an Internet website in a given jurisdiction doesn’t mean that you pull out the well-known analysis in Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc. and start figuring whether that website is passive,” “active,” or “interactive.”

Not if it’s just a personal injury case, as it was in Heidle.

In other words, the widely held (not widely held by lawyers with an Internet practice but among others) belief that a Web presence gives rise to essentially world-wide jurisdiction for almost any other thing takes another hit. Not surprising, because the issue of personal jurisdiction is a constitutional one. Some of the Constitution must still be left.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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