Personal Jurisdiction Based on Internet Presence, E-mail, Instant Messaging and Other E-Contacts

Leveraging the Evolving Minimum Contact Standards in Commercial Litigation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss the evolving standards for personal jurisdiction arising from e-contacts, how these standards are being applied in various situations, and best practices for company counsel seeking to minimize the risk of being sued in far-flung jurisdictions.


The Internet has changed the way courts look at the issue of personal jurisdiction over defendants being sued in a particular forum. Courts must now wrestle with personal jurisdiction issues involving electronic contacts such as websites, e-mails and instant messaging (e-contacts).

As a general rule, passive websites create no personal jurisdiction. Active sales websites can establish jurisdiction if sales are not de minimus. These cases are extremely fact specific, grey areas abound, and standards evolve as the law struggles to keep up with new-generation technology.

For torts such as defamation or trademark infringement, personal jurisdiction can be found even without sales in the jurisdiction. Several recent cases have addressed the difficult issues in cloud computing — shared files, off-site data centers and complicated methods to increase internet traffic.

Listen as our authoritative panel of attorneys discusses the evolving standards of personal jurisdiction involving e-contacts and litigation trends addressing electronic technology.



  1. Application of minimum contact standards to e-contacts
    1. Website presence
    2. E-mails
    3. Instant messaging
    4. Cloud computing
  2. Application of standards in internet tort cases
    1. Defamation
    2. Trademark infringement


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What types of Internet presence constitute minimum contacts to confer personal jurisdiction?
  • How have the courts applied the minimum contacts standards to defamation and trademark infringement cases?
  • Are cloud computing and search engine optimization setting the stage for the next battleground over personal jurisdiction?


David Enzminger
David Enzminger

O'Melveny & Myers

He is a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Practice within the Litigation Department. He has extensive...  |  Read More

Robert Friedman
Robert Friedman

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

He focuses his practice on commercial litigation matters and he has particular experience in securities litigation,...  |  Read More

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