X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision Personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants is constitutional when 1. the defendant has established minimum contacts with the forum state; and 2. the exercise of jurisdiction comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. FACTS:In the fall of 2001, Rautaruukki Group, a Finnish maker and marketer of steel products, sent out inquiries dealing with a certain manufacturing process involving coiled steel. DBI, based in Irving, answered the inquiry and arranged to meet with Rautaruukki representatives at a steel warehouse in Memphis, Tenn., that implemented DBI’s maufacturing process. Upon arrival in Memphis, Rautaruukki representatives were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement covering any information concerning the engineering design of DBI technology, including data, drawing or equipment. After the Memphis trip, Rautaruukki representatives traveled to Irving for two days of meetings, during which proprietary information was disclosed. Rautaruukki representatives returned to Finland and exchanged numerous e-mail messages with DBI in Texas over technical information. Ultimately, Rautaruukki decided not to go with the DBI equipment. Later, DBI learned that Rautaruukki was negotiating with a European competitor of DBI’s for the same equipment. Because of DBI’s belief that it was the only company that made the comparable equipment, it feared Rautaruukki was sharing the proprietary information it gained in its meetings with DBI. DBI got a restraining order against Rautaruukki. Rautaruukki filed a special appearance, and the trial court sustained it. DBI appeals. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Rautaruukki contends on appeal that the confidentiality agreement it signed covers only the technical information that emanated from its viewing of the equipment in Tennessee, not from the information that came from Texas. The court disagrees, noting that the language in the agreement specifically refers to “any data, drawing, and piece of equipment.” The court holds Rautaruukki has the necessary minimum contacts with Texas to support jurisdiction in this state. Rautaruukki received confidential information over two days in Texas, and though those two days came during only one visit, that visit was “significant.” Nor were Rautaruukki’s contacts with Texas random, fortuitous or attenuated. The court also finds that fair play and substantial justice are satisfied by subjecting Rautaruukki to Texas’ jurisdiction. Though the burden is great on Rautaruukki, Texas’ interest in adjudicating the dispute weighs in DBI’s favor, as does DBI’s interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief. Other factors, such as concern for the interstate judicial system and interest among states to further social policies, do not apply when the defendant is from a foreign country. OPINION:O’Neill, J.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.