David Coale explores when a Texas-based court can exercise jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant

“I’ve talked to a business in Texas about a potential deal. But now it’s falling apart. Can I be sued there, even though I live in Europe?”

Two recent cases explain when a Texas-based court can reach beyond state lines and exercise jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant. The cases address those principles in three common business situations—contract negotiation, contract performance, and online commerce conducted through a website. In addition to stating the relevant law for an important US jurisdiction, these opinions fairly describe the law that applies generally throughout the US. This article summarizes what those cases say about those principles.

Contract negotiation