Personal Jurisdiction From E-Communications: Social Media, Websites, Email, IM and Cloud Computing

Navigating the Minimum E-Contact Standards in Evolving Case Law

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

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Conducted on Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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 to minimize the risk of being sued in far-flung jurisdictions.


The Internet has changed how courts view personal jurisdiction over defendants sued in a particular forum. Courts must now wrestle with personal jurisdiction issues involving electronic contacts using social media, company websites, emails and instant messaging (e-contacts).

As a general rule, passive websites create no personal jurisdiction. Active sales websites can establish jurisdiction unless sales are 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.  Courts have only begun to address the difficult issues with 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. Emails
    3. Instant messaging
    4. Social media
  2. Application of standards in tort cases
    1. Defamation
    2. Trademark infringement
    3. Other tort claims
  3. Application of standards in breach of contract cases
  4. Personal jurisdiction issues with cloud computing


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?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Mark E. McGrath
Mark E. McGrath

Sheppard Mullin

He focuses his practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation. He has particular experience in the areas...  |  Read More

Elizabeth Figueira
Elizabeth Figueira

Crowell & Moring

Her practice covers a variety of clients, including several in the sports, media and financial services industries,...  |  Read More

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