In the New York Law Journal (subscription required):
As a practical matter, most jurisdictional analysis in the Internet context focuses on specific jurisdiction. A “Web presence” in New York has not been considered enough, standing alone, to establish broad, general personal jurisdiction; such jurisdiction typically requires a substantial presence, such as an office in New York, New York employees or agents, the systematic solicitation of business in New York, or the presence of bank accounts or other property in the state.
New York is, in fact, a “solicitation plus” state: even the systematic solicitation of business in New York, without more, will not justify a finding of corporate “presence” sufficient to establish general jurisdiction over a non-resident. Thus, even if a defendant solicits business in New York and transmits those goods to computers in New York through an interactive Web site (the “active” side of the Citigroup [decision’s] sliding scale) that activity may not be enough to establish general personal jurisdiction without additional activities of substance within the state.
Specific jurisdiction, however, is another matter. As noted in Citigroup, if a non-resident supplies goods or services into New York over the Internet, and that transaction becomes the basis for an action, that “single transaction” has typically been seen as enough to satisfy the requirements for specific jurisdiction . . .
The article is good.
UPDATE: The article was good — and it was completely current when I first posted this in 2008. It’s been a long time, especially in Internet years, since then. For the latest on the topic, you’ll want to look at treatments such as these:
- This October, 2011 piece by Kramer Levin lawyers Brendan M. Schulman, Norman C. Simon and Samantha V. Ettari, “Internet-based jurisdiction under the New York long arm statute” (October 2011)
- An April 2012 article by two Appellate Division justices in New York (!), Thomas A. Dickerson and Jeffrey A. Cohen, presented to their colleagues in the New York judiciary at a judicial seminar, called “Jurisdiction on the Internet 2012,” and
- If in doubt, just see what Eric Goldman has to say about it — as in this post called “Having a Facebook or Twitter Account Shouldn’t Mean Mandatory California Vacations if You Get Sued.”
- A very good survey called “Personal Jurisdiction in Cyberspace: Where Does It Begin, and Where Does It End?,” by Yasmin R. Tavakoli, now of Finnegan Henderson, and David R. Yohannan of Kelley Drye, originally published in a slightly different format in the January 2011 issue of the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal.