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Web Page Creators and State Jurisdiction

When is a Web Page Creator Subject to a State's Jurisdiction? Creating and maintaining a Web page that is accessible from anywhere in the world poses new jurisdictional issues. In this 1999 article, Christopher Wolf, an attorney at a Washington D.C. law firm, explains the evolving law on jurisdiction on the Internet. The question is whether a court has personal jurisdiction of an individual just because the individual posts a Website. Mr. Wolf summarizes the law relating to that issue.

Part 1 - After reading this article, select a Web site and analyze whether the Web site creator would be subject to jurisdiction in the examples given.

Part 2 - Look at Mr. Wolf's article entitled (http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Jan/1/241482.html). Read all sections of the article including the conclusion. Answer the following questions:

1. Why is personal jurisdiction an issue for those who post Websites?
2. What are some reasons that a website owner might be concerned with whether a court is able to obtain 'personal jurisdiction' over them?
3. What is normally required for a court to have personal jurisdiction?
4. When is a Court required to use long-arm jurisdiction?
5. Why is long arm jurisdiction an issue for those who create or post Web pages?
6. According to the Wolf article, the courts have imposed an "interactive-passive" test of jurisdiction. Explain that distinction.
7. According to the Wolf article, is advertising on the Web alone enough to confer personal jurisdiction?

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It is my goal to provide ideas, definitions, research help, and instructions on how you, the student, should approach the assignment. As you know, we do not provide work which is able to be handed in.

Let's look at each of these questions. I've grouped the similar ones together for you.

1. Why is personal jurisdiction an issue for those who post Websites?
2. What are some reasons that a website owner might be concerned with whether a court is able to obtain 'personal jurisdiction' over them?
3. What is normally required for a court to have personal jurisdiction?

Personal jurisdiction is an issue for those who post websites because it determines which courts they may be ...

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