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The Legal Environment of Business and Online Commerce

Dorrina Bratton/Martini


Andrew McAdams

May 1, 2011

3.5 Business Ethics

The National Enquirer, Inc. is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in Florida. 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 Shirley Jones, 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. Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 104 Sect. 1482, 79 L.Ed.2d 804, Web 1984 U.S. Lexis 4 (Supreme Court of the United States) (Cheeseman, 2010).

What kind of paper is the National Enquirer?

The National Enquirer is a national weekly newspaper that is sold in many stores throughout the country. The National Enquirer is known to most as a tabloid paper because the information given is about famous people. The information written about many of these people are known to be subject of lies and misrepresentation. The case of Calder v. Jones pertains to entertainer Shirley Jones for alleged damages of defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Cheeseman, 2010).

Was it ethical for The National Enquirer to try to avoid suit in California?

Determination of ethics for The National Enquirer is questionable in this case. Suit can be determined by the courts through jurisdiction (Quisi in rem) where there are “minimum contacts” with the foreign state. The defendant here is The National Enquirer, Inc. located in Florida, and the plaintiff is Shirley Jones located in California. The plaintiff who obtains a judgment against a...