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ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

In this mandamus petition we are asked to review a trial court’s refusal to enforce a forum-selection clause designating a California forum for any lawsuits “arising out of” a distribution agreement. The clause was in an exhibit to the agreement, signed by all the parties, but the exhibit specifically referenced only one of the two defendants sued. We hold that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to enforce the clause, and we conditionally grant the petition.

Relator Lisa Laser Products, oHG*fn1 (“Lisa Germany”) is a German partnership that manufactures lasers for use in various medical fields. Lisa Laser USA, Inc., (“Lisa USA”) is the registered assumed named of a California corporation affiliated with Lisa Germany (collectively, “Lisa Laser”). Lisa Germany manufactures medical lasers, and Lisa USA is the distributor of those products within the United States. In 2005, Lisa USA signed a distribution agreement with Real Party in Interest HealthTronics, Inc., a Georgia corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. In 2007, the agreement was superseded by an Amended and Restated Distribution Agreement (the Distribution Agreement or Agreement) that included Lisa USA and HealthTronics, the original contracting parties, and added Lisa Germany as a party. The President of Lisa USA, the CEO of Lisa Germany, and the Senior Vice-President for Medical Products of HealthTronics signed it.

 
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