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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In an accelerated, interlocutory appeal, appellant Thomas E. Lewis challenged the trial court’s order overruling his special appearance. Lewis, a resident of Florida, had been sued by Indian Springs Land Corp. and others regarding his distribution of ISLC’s funds. At the time of the distribution of funds, Lewis was president and a shareholder of ISLC. The relationship of the parties spanned several years and involved a series of business transactions culminating in Lewis’ distribution of funds in payment of certain of ISLC’s promissory notes. The claims asserted by appellees challenged Lewis’s distribution of funds and included breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, fraud, misappropriation of funds and statutory theft. Other appellees were Indian Springs Investment Partners Ltd., a Texas real estate development partnership; Beltway Development Corp., a Texas corporation, and the general partner of ISIP; and Indian Springs Joint Venture, a Texas joint venture. ISLC held a 99-percent interest in ISJV with ISIP holding the remaining 1 percent. HOLDING:Affirmed and remanded. On appeal, Lewis argues that the trial court erred in denying his special appearance. It is his contention that there are insufficient Texas contacts to support personal jurisdiction because, in particular: 1. he is a Florida resident; 2. he served as president of ISLC, a Nevada corporation; 3. that corporation received the contested funds in Florida from Toll Brothers, a debtor located in Pennsylvania; and 4. he was acting in his capacity as president of ISLC when he issued checks from a Florida bank account to acknowledged creditors of ISLC, some of whom lived in Texas. Appellees assert that the trial court’s denial of the special appearance should be affirmed because Lewis has failed to meet his burden to negate all bases for the court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction. Further, appellees argue that the exercise of personal jurisdiction over Lewis fully satisfies the requirements of Texas law and constitutional due process for both general and specific jurisdiction. In particular, they argue there is specific jurisdiction, at least as to the tort claims they allege against Lewis, under the so-called effects theory based upon the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984). The court explains that the touchstone of jurisdictional due process analysis is purposeful availment. The court states that it is essential in each case that there be some act by which the defendant purposefully avails itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws. The court points out that the Texas Supreme Court has recently addressed the proper application of the concept of “purposeful availment” outlining three important aspects to be considered. First, it is only the defendant’s contacts with the forum that count: purposeful availment “ensures that a defendant will not be haled into a jurisdiction solely as a result of . . . the”unilateral activity of another party or a third person.’ ” Second, the acts relied upon must be “ purposeful” rather than “random, isolated or fortuitous.” Third, a defendant must seek some benefit, advantage or profit by “availing” itself of the jurisdiction. By invoking the benefit and protections of a forum’s laws, the court explains, a nonresident consents to suit there. The court states that prior negotiations and contemplated future consequences, along with the terms of the contract and the parties’ actual course of dealing, must be evaluated in determining whether the defendant purposefully established minimum contacts within the forum. The court examines the record and finds that Lewis had extensive contacts that he voluntarily made with the forum. The court notes that Lewis is a founder, shareholder and owner of companies organized under Texas law. Also, he was president and a shareholder in ISLC, a Nevada corporation. The court finds that the evidence reflects ISLC had Texas shareholders, and directors, and had its “principal executive offices” in Texas. The court also points out that over the period of five years relevant to this proceeding, Lewis traveled to Texas at least five times to negotiate and manage his Texas-based business interests involved in this suit and he communicated extensively regarding those interests in writing, electronically and by telephone with his Texas business associates. On this record, the court states that it cannot conclude that Lewis’ alleged conduct was limited to Florida, Nevada, Colorado and California, as he claims. Nor does the court conclude his conduct in Texas was the result of the “unilateral activity of another party or a third person.” The court holds instead that the record reflects a “substantial ‘presence’” of Lewis in the state of Texas. For the foregoing reasons, the court concludes that the trial court’s implied findings are legally and factually sufficient; Lewis failed to carry his burden to negate all of the bases for the trial court’s exercise of personal jurisdiction over him; and the court therefore affirms the trial court’s order denying the special appearance of Lewis. The court then remands the case to the trial court for trial on the merits. OPINION:Lang, J.; Whittington, Francis and Lang, JJ.

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