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Authors

Gary L. Gassman

Abstract

This is a Bench memorandum for the 1995 John Marshall National Moot Court Competition in Information Technology and Privacy Law. It is an interlocutory appeal from a circuit court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s defamation action. The facts include the defendant, Robert Jacobs, posting an allegedly defamatory comment aimed at the plaintiff, Jennifer Fetty on an online discussion board during a debate on abortion. Both reside in Illinois, but the comment was read and replied to by David Bornmann, a resident of the State of Marshall. The issues include whether defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction in the State of Marshall under the Marshall long-arm statute and whether the plaintiff is a public figure because of her participation in a discussion of a controversial issue widely published on the internet. The court concludes the defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction in the State of Marshall and that the plaintiff is not a public figure. Circuit court affirmed.