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Business Ethics Case

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Business Ethics Case

Tina M. Drinka

BUS/415

March 12, 2012
Rob Tischer, J.D., M.A.

Business Ethics Case

Discussed in this paper is the case of Calder v. Jones, 465 United States 783, 1984. Respondent Shirley Jones filed suit in California Superior Court against the National Enquirer claiming libel. Petitioners are South the reporter who wrote the article for the National Enquirer, and Calder who holds the position of president and editor of the National Enquirer.
What Kind of Paper is National Enquirer? The Enquirer/Star Group, Inc. is a holding company for many best selling supermarket tabloids founded in 1926, by William Radolph Hearst, known at that time as the New York Enquirer (Randall, 1986). Generoso Pope, Jr. purchased the paper in 1952 utalizing his marketing skills to introduce the paper into supermarkets during the 1970s (Randall, 1986). The group’s shining star is the National Enquirer with a weekly circulation of seven million when combined with the Star and only TV Guide has a higher weekly circulation. The National Enquirer, Inc. principally based in Florida, publishing a weekly magazine distributed nationally with a total circulation exceeding five million. Approximately 600,000 copies circulate in California, which is twice the total of the next largest circulation market.
Avoiding Suit in California Petitioner South, the reporter who wrote the article in question, lives in Florida, but travels on business to California often. South’s research for the article happened by phone from Florida to sources in California and South called Shirley Jones’s husband to read him the article prior to publication to obtain a comment. South’s only contact with California is the business trips and phone calls. Petitioner Calder, the president, and editor of the National Enquirer, lives in Florida, and has been to California twice. The first trip to California was for pleasure, the second to testify in an unrelated trial. Calder’s position as president and editor includes the responsibility of overseeing every National Enquirer function from subject approval to editing final articles prior to printing. Calder refused to print a retraction on the Shirley Jones article, and holds no direct connections to California. When considering the petitioners’ motion the Superior Court stated that actions of Florida petitioners against California respondent is sufficient to show an assertion of jurisdiction in California but deemed special solicitude necessary or reporters and editors would need to appear in remote jurisdictions answering suits for articles they worked on. Therefore, the rights of the respondent, Shirley Jones would remain satisfied without petitioners appearing as parties, and approved the motion. The California Court of Appeals reversed this decision because the petitioners intended to inflict harm and did so to the California respondent, Shirley Jones, regardless of performing this act outside the state of California.
Defendants Subject to Suit in California Respondent Shirley Jones had been allegedly libeled in article written, edited, and published by the National Enquirer, who’s corporate base is in Florida, but who largest circulation by more than twice exists in California. Shirley Jones’s home is in California, where she also works as a professional entertainer, whose TV career centered in California, and where the October 9, 1979 article featured in the National Enquirer. The petitioners’, South, and Calder, jurisdiction in California granted because of the intentional behavior produced in Florida causing injury to California to respondent Shirley Jones. The petitioners’, South, and Calder, targeted the negligence intentionally at California, knowing how potentially negative the article could affect the respondent, Shirley Jones, her home, and her work environment as a TV entertainer. The National Enquirer made no objection to jurisdiction in California.
Conclusion
If someone living in one state can file suit against another entity in another state depends on the degree of the offense and the affect on that location, in which state the offense took place and if intent involved. In this case, the answer was yes because the offense took place in the state of California where Shirley Jones lived, and worked. Also the distribution was at the highest in this state by the offending National Enquirer. Finally there was intentional negligence to Shirley Jones where the National Enquirer knew the most harm would happen because of the creation by this article.

References
Funding Universe, Retrieved March 12, 2012, http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/EnquirerStar-Group-Inc-Company-History.html
|Laws Findlaw, Retrieved March 12, 2012, http://laws.findlaw.com/us/465/783.html |

Randall, M. H. (1986, Autumn). National Enquirer - periodical reviews. Retrieved from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_vNON4/ai_4436795/

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