Personal Jursidiction in the Age of Facebook

Erin E. Rhinehart

Despite advances in technology and the myriad of new platforms on which our clients can defame someone, traditional principles of personal jurisdiction still apply. Earlier this year, a California appellate court reversed the trial court’s finding of personal jurisdiction and found that posting defamatory statements about a person on Facebook, while knowing the person resides in the forum state, is insufficient in itself to create the necessary minimum contacts. Burdick v. Super. Ct. of Orange Cty., Case No. G049107 (Jan. 14, 2015). Not a surprising result in light of last year’s unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Walden v. Fiore, 571 U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 1115, which found that the plaintiffs could not exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant “because a plaintiff’s contacts with the forum State cannot be ‘decisive in determining whether defendants’ due process rights are violated.’”

Premium Content For:
  • Current ABA Member
Join - Now