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Civil Litigation Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Moni Pulo, a Nigerian oil company, received a Nigerian government concession to develop an oil field located, at least in part, in Nigeria. Moni Pulo contracted with Trutec to find Moni Pulo a technical partner to oversee development. Trutec was to receive a 10 percent interest, but that was later reduced to 6 percent. Moni Pulo contracted with Brass as its technical partner. When production and revenue grew two years later, Trutec sued Moni Pulo in Nigeria for the original 10 percent interest. While the appeal with that case was pending, related suits were brought in Nigeria and the International Court of Justice. Then, Trutec sued Moni Pulo, Brass and several banks in Harris County, alleging breach of contract and several other business-related causes of action. Moni Pulo’s chairman filed a special appearance. The trial court denied the special appearance , finding the court had general jurisdiction. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. First, the court confirms that the court does not have specific jurisdiction, as none of the claims or agreements relate to Texas. Though revenues Trutec lays claim to may have passed through Texas bank accounts, the causes of action do not arise from that occurrence. Trutec claims that jurisdiction is acceptable in Harris County because Brass’ parent company, Western Atlas, is based in Houston and that some of the negotiations between Moni Pulo and Western Atlas took place there. This contact doesn’t support general jurisdiction, the court rules because Brass itself was not a Texas resident; it is irrelevant evidence of alter ego that Brass’ parent company was based in Texas; Trutec, not Moni Pulo, initiated the contact with Brass; and negotiating and signing a contract in Texas is insufficient if performance takes place elsewhere. Though Brass conducted banking activities, their contacts cannot subject Moni Pulo to jurisdiction there: “Due process limits jurisdiction to nonresidents who purposefully avail themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in Texas; a party cannot be required to appear and litigate in Texas based on choices made by others.” Nor do Moni Pulo’s contracts with drilling company subsidiaries of Texas companies support general jurisdiction, the court rules. Finally, the court says that even if the contacts mentioned above did establish general jurisdiction, it would offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice to exercise that jurisdiction. First Moni Pulo is “wholly a product of Nigeria.” Second, Texas has no interest in this dispute among Nigerian entities regarding Nigerian mineral interests. And, third, Trutec’s behavior in filing multiple suits “is reaching too far.” OPINION:Brister, C.J.; Brister, C.J., Fowler, J. and Murphy, S.C.J., sitting by assignment.

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