Be careful what you type next time you log on to your favorite Internet chatroom or newsgroup. At least, that’s the message sent by a federal judge inthe Eastern District of Virginia earlier this summer.

Judge T.S. Ellis III held that a court in Virginia possessed personaljurisdiction in a defamation case brought by a Virginia resident against twoout-of-state defendants based solely on the location of the server fromwhich the defamatory messages were sent. Bochan v. LaFontaine (Civ. A.98-1749-A) (E.D. Va. May 26, 1999).

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