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The National Enquirer, Inc., is a Florida corporation with…

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The National Enquirer, Inc., is...
The National Enquirer, Inc., is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in Florda. It publishes the National Enquirer, a national weekly newspaper with a total circulation of more than 5 million copies. About 600,000 copies, almost twice the level in the next highest state, are sold in California. The National Enquirer published an article about XXXXX XXXXX, an entertainer. Jones, a California resident, filed a lawsuit in California state court against the National Enquirer and its president, who was a resident of Florida. The California lawsuit sought damages for alleged defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Cadler v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 104 S.Ct. 1482, 79 L.Ed.2d 804, Web 1984 U.S. Lexis 4 (Supreme Court of the United States). Was it ethical for the National Enquirer to try to avoid suit in Calfornia? Are the defendants subject to suit in Calfornia? Why or why not?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Legal
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6/16/2010
Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Ray
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Main argument

The publisher and the distributor did not object to jurisdiction in California. The trial court dismissed the claim as to the author and editor on the grounds that it lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendants, basing this finding on First Amendment concerns that permitting jurisdiction in such cases would chill free speech. The California Court of Appeal reversed, and the Supreme Court of California affirmed the appellate court's ruling. Calder appealed, as did the writer of the article, contending that the writer and editor of a magazine article were like welders of a boiler part. In such a case, although the manufacturer of the product could be held liable in another state where the product caused an injury, a worker who had neither a stake in the distribution nor any control over it would not be held liable in that state.

Supreme Court Ruling

The Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Rehnquist, held that the California courts did have jurisdiction over the defendant. Rehnquist wrote that the analogy to a welder "does not wash," noting that the editor was aware that the magazine had a significant circulation in California, that the plaintiff resided in California, and that the allegations made in the article would harm her career there. The Court also rejected any First Amendment considerations, noting that the defendants could assert a First Amendment defense against the claim itself, but not against the jurisdiction of the state court to hear the claim


Yes I think it was ethical here for the Enquirer to try and avoid suit.Under the long arm statute they had minimal circulation, no office, and did not operate business there per se.It was a valid attempt on their part to stay out of a plaintiff friendly state here and make it more difficult for plaintiff to have to file elsewhere.--the court agreed .
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