Internet Jurisdiction Essay

2751 words - 11 pages

Some of the things that the Nordstrom website offers to their customers include: customers can signup for an online account, shop from the Nordstrom's catalog, check their order and shipping status, pay their monthly Nordstrom bill, purchase gift cards and certificates, chat live with an online customer service representative or beauty specialist, signup to receive emails and physical mail, Nordstrom will respond to customers emails, and they provide phone numbers where customers can order products by phone.I would definitely say that there is no confusion here (or at least there shouldn't be) as to whether this website is passive or interactive. Because the site is interactive, one might think that it would be safe to say that Nordstrom would definitely be subject to personal jurisdiction. That is however not exactly the case here.I am sure there are many people who shop online that never take the time to read the "terms and conditions" on the site they are ordering from, but I have always thought that it is a wise thing to do. The first time I ever ordered from the Nordstrom site I looked over the terms and conditions, and the last paragraph states the following:"Applicable LawThe Site is intended for viewing only in the USA. The law applicable to the interpretation and construction of these Terms and Use and any transaction (including sales of products) using or related to the Site, shall be the laws of the State of Washington, USA without regard to conflict of laws. All proceedings relating to the Site, these Terms of Use, or any transaction, including the sale of any products, using this Site, shall be brought only in the state or federal courts of King County, Seattle, Washington, USA, and you and Nordstrom® do hereby consent to the jurisdiction and venue of such courts." (Nordstrom, Inc., 2007)This whole paragraph falls under "Conflict of Laws". The first part (in red) is what is called a "Choice of Law Clause". This basically means that if a person from another state goes online and purchases products from Nordstrom, and for some reason or another decides to bring a claim against Nordstrom, chances are Washington State law will govern the dispute.The second part (in blue) is called a "Forum Selection Clause" and a "Choice of Venue". Basically, when a person from another state goes online and orders products from Nordstrom, and for some reason or another they decide to bring a claim against Nordstrom, chances are they will have to do so in the state or federal courts (jurisdiction), in the State of Washington (Forum), in the City of Seattle, King County (Venue).The court will uphold these clauses for the most part, however, there can be complications and this area of law can definitely be subject to exceptions. (Heydary, J., 2005).In addition, I would be willing to bet that there is something with the first sentence as well, "The Site is intended for viewing only in the USA". I really do not know for sure, but just guessing, I could...

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