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Hastings Law Journal

Authors

Jenny Bagger

Abstract

As the question of how new technology factors into the personal jurisdiction analysis remains unresolved, the vast increase in the reliance on remote technology that the COVID-19 pandemic spurred urges a definitive answer. Even when the pandemic comes to its end, the shift it caused towards remote interactions and the question of how these interactions affect personal jurisdiction will continue as society enters the post-pandemic world. The now-outdated Internet-specific test that lower courts created more than twenty years ago has caused more confusion than clarity and no longer suits the technology of a rapidly evolving society. As the new norm, remote interactions and virtual contacts can fit within the traditional personal jurisdiction doctrines on the same—even surer—footing as physical contacts.

This Note argues that virtual contacts should support a finding of personal jurisdiction and offers a solution that uses the familiar tools from International Shoe and its progeny to analyze technology-based connections in the post-pandemic world and beyond. Through three approaches, this Note posits a more coherent doctrine that combines its traditions with the realities of an ever-evolving society and provides an answer as courts, commentators, and civil procedure enthusiasts wait for the Internet-jurisdiction shoe to drop.

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