Personal Jurisdiction From E-Contacts Remains An Unpredictable Issue

Originally published in the New York Law Journal on February 25, 2013.

Advances in technology continue to have an interesting and quixotic effect on the way in which courts grapple with personal jurisdiction. Commercial interaction across state and international borders continues to challenge the traditional analysis of minimum contacts and purposeful availment. Since our 2009 article1 updating the jurisprudence relating to electronic contacts, New York courts have continued to use the sliding scale of interactivity to determine whether websites can provide a basis for personal jurisdiction, along with the traditional indicia of doing business, namely, the totality of connections with New York. The result is that personal jurisdiction analysis has become even more fact specific and unpredictable.

Updated Progeny of ‘Fischbarg’ -

The New York Court of Appeals’ decisions in Fischbarg v. Doucet and Deutsche Bank Securities v. Montana Board of Investments3 remain the seminal cases in New York on whether electronic communications are sufficient to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-domiciliary.

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