New York’s traditionally elastic interpretation of its long-arm jurisdiction in commercial disputes was extended Tuesday to e-mails and instant messages for the first time in a bellwether opinion by the Court of Appeals.

In a unanimous decision, the court said that commercial entities’ use of e-mail and instant messaging to “project themselves into New York to conduct business transactions” is covered by the long-arm provisions in the Civil Practice Law and Rules in the same way and for the same reasons that telephonic negotiations are covered.

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