The Application of Effect Rules at Establishing Jurisdiction by US Courts and Enlightenments to People’s Courts in PRC

Kaixuan Gong


Since 1984, the case Jones v. Calder was brought to Supreme Court, and the plaintiff had successfully convinced the Supreme Court that the California district court, based on the effect caused by the out-of-state defendant, is competent to exercise jurisdiction over the case. From the insight of Supreme judges, although the defendant is not within the territory of California, the effect resulted from the Florida defendant’s defamation to the California is constituted as the “Minimum contacts”. And also, such intentional effect did not contradict the traditional “notion of fair play and substance justice”. When it comes to the contacts with the forum state, it is hold by the Supreme Court that the Florida defendant is expected to be sued at California for the reason that the action taken by defendant is aimed to striking plaintiff’s career and vilifying her reputation. Put it in another way, the effects occurred in California by defendant’s actions were within defendant’s expectations, and it is also expected that the defendant had expected to be sued at the plaintiff’s forum state. The import of establishing effect-test is to redress aggrieved parties as soon as possible. Since effect-test had been introduced in tort cases, to a great extent, this test provide guidance for judges to exercise jurisdiction to the out-of- state conduct by non-resident. However, it has to mention that the application, especially in the era of Internet, seems to be various. With the explosive growth of e-commerce trades and frequent communication through Internet, effect-test had been invited into the e-commerce world by federal judges to decide jurisdiction to cases like intellectual property infringement, defamations out of the state. When taking effect-test, courts focus on the facts presented in the case to satisfy the “the minimum contacts” with the forum state. But cases alike were concluded with different decisions. So the diverse decisions based on similar facts inspire me to explore what drives the judges to apply effect-test? The article maintains that a certain merit lays a solid foundation for the decisions made by federal courts. And also confirms that overall interest of the forum state is considered by the federal courts to apply effect-test. Further, it is the overall interest of the forum state that promotes the federal courts to manipulate effect-test to decide the competence to a certain case, since in such case, some purely subjective facts allow room for a large amount of discretion of judges.

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Studies in Asian Social Science    
ISSN 2330-2143 (Print)  ISSN 2330-2151 (Online)

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