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International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington

An Important Precedent

By the same token, the Court reasoned that the International Shoe Company had had "certain minimum contacts" with the state of Washington. The Court held that if these "minimum contacts" were enough to satisfy "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice," the company was liable to Washington State's jurisdiction. Given that International Shoe did sell shoes and maintain a sales staff in Washington State, the Court ruled that it did have these minimum contacts and was therefore liable for the tax.

The Court's reasoning was based on two major points: (1) To the extent that a corporation enjoys the privilege of conducting business within a state, it should also expect to meet the obligations of doing business within that state; (2) To the extent that a corporation wants to employ labor, it may expect to be taxed.

International Shoe set a major precedent for laws about personal jurisdiction. Unfortunately, for future lawyers, plaintiffs, and defendants, the decision was not far-reaching enough to specify exactly what constituted "minimum contact."

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington - Significance, Corporations, People, And Legal Fictions, Minimum Contacts And Personal Jurisdiction, An Important Precedent