Choice of Law in Cybyerspace

August, 2002


For companies doing business on the Web, it has become standard to state in the website’s terms and conditions of use that users who have a dispute must pursue such claims within the state in which the company is located, and pursuant to that state’s laws. From the company’s perspective, this makes sense, as fighting lawsuits in fifty different states, and even overseas, could prove prohibitively costly and strategically undesirable. Consumers have argued that the system is unfair, however, as it requires a user to bring a claim far from home, even for a small dispute.