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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellants Edwin Niehaus, Carrie Wong, and William Ryan appeal the denial of their special appearances. Appellee Cedar Bridge, Inc., sued appellants in their individual capacities, along with their company, Niehaus Wong Ryan, Inc. (“NWR”), based on the breach of a commercial lease. Cedar Bridge asserts that appellants are individually liable, because they engaged in a fraudulent transfer of corporate assets that resulted in NWR’s inability to pay rent to Cedar Bridge. Appellants contend that they are not amenable to suit in Texas, because they are California residents who acted only in their corporate capacities and who received payments only in California. HOLDING:The court reverses the trial court’s order denying the appellants’ special appearances and renders judgment dismissing the claims against them for want of personal jurisdiction. The Texas Supreme Court in Michiana Easy Livin’ Country Inc. v. Holten, 168 S.W.3d 777 (Tex. 2005), expressly disapproved of cases holding that a nonresident is subject to personal jurisdiction based on an allegation that the defendant “directed a tort” at Texas. The court instructed that the existence of specific jurisdiction depends on the contacts themselves, not on whether the contacts were tortious. Important to the jurisdictional analysis is that a corporate officer, in his individual capacity, cannot be said to have established minimum contacts with the forum based on the activities of his corporation, absent other evidence, such as proof sufficient to “pierce the corporate veil.” Siskind v. Villa Found. for Educ., Inc., 642 S.W.2d 434 (Tex. 1982). However, even if all of the officer’s actions were performed in his corporate capacity, the officer may be subjected to personal jurisdiction and held liable in his individual capacity for those actions if they were tortious or fraudulent. Yet, just as when the minimum contacts of any nonresident defendant are analyzed, a corporate officer’s tortious or fraudulent activity will only be sufficient to establish specific jurisdiction if it satisfies the three-pronged due process inquiry. Here, although appellants were not individually obligated by the lease, which named only NWR as a tenant, specific jurisdiction could be asserted over them individually based on either 1. the corporation’s acts in breaching the lease, if Cedar Bridge offered sufficient evidence to pierce the corporate veil, or 2. appellants’ fraudulent or tortious actions, if those acts constituted “purposeful availment” and were substantially connected to the underlying litigation and to the forum. Because Cedar Bridge did not adduce any proof to pierce the corporate veil, the only basis for asserting specific jurisdiction over appellants in their individual capacities is Cedar Bridge’s allegation that they committed a fraudulent transfer of corporate assets, in detriment of Cedar Bridge’s rights as a creditor, when they received December 2000 bonuses. The trial court’s denial of appellants’ special appearances implies that the court found evidence in the record to support specific jurisdiction; namely, that appellants had purposefully engaged in some act that arose from or related to the allegedly fraudulent transfer and that was substantially connected to the state of Texas. The record demonstrates that all actions regarding the December 2000 bonuses occurred in California: The executive team’s decision to pay the bonuses was made in California, the funds were taken out of NWR’s corporate bank account in California, the appellants received the bonuses in California, and the funds were deposited into appellants’ California bank accounts. This evidence is undisputed. The only aspect of the December 2000 bonus payment that arguably affected Texas was that, nearly a year after the payments were made to appellants and following the crash of the dot.com market, Cedar Bridge did not receive rent payments from NWR, because the corporation lacked sufficient funds to pay its rent. However, Michiana dictates that, without more, the fact that a nonresident could foresee that his out-of-state actions would cause injury in Texas is not sufficient to hale the nonresident into Texas to litigate that injury. Even assuming that appellants engaged in the allegedly fraudulent transfer, it is undisputed that none of the related activity occurred in Texas. There is nothing in the record before the court that connects appellants’ executive decision to transfer the funds or the actual transfer of funds with the state of Texas. The concept that appellants could be subject to personal jurisdiction in Texas based on allegations that they committed tortious or fraudulent activity in California that had repercussions in Texas was directly considered and rejected by the Supreme Court in Michiana. Although the injury felt in Texas may constitute a contact with the forum, it does not, on its own, constitute “sufficient minimum contacts” with the forum for jurisdictional purposes. To require a nonresident defendant to litigate such liability within the state of Texas, the defendant must have “purposefully availed” himself of the benefits of conducting business in this state. Without a single connection between the forum and the allegedly fraudulent activity, this requirement is not satisfied, and due process forbids a Texas court from asserting specific jurisdiction over the nonresident. Cedar Bridge urges that Ennis v. Loiseau, 164 S.W.3d 698 (Tex. App. � Austin 2005, no pet.), is controlling authority that supports the denial of appellants’ special appearances. The record here is devoid of any evidence linking appellants’ allegedly fraudulent activity to the state of Texas; all activities regarding the December 2000 bonuses occurred in California. Thus, unlike Ennis, appellants did not “purposefully avail” themselves of doing business in Texas by engaging in this transaction, and they would not have necessarily anticipated being called to Texas to litigate the propriety of the December 2000 bonus payments. Cedar Bridge additionally relies on Calder v. Jones for the principle that specific jurisdiction can be based on a defendant’s intentionally directing wrongdoing at the forum state. Intentionally sending a defamatory publication into a forum where the nonresident knows it will be distributed in large quantities across the entire state, as in Calder, is different than intentionally participating in a transaction wholly outside the forum that the nonresident might have known would be harmful to a single creditor within the forum, as here. Thus, to the extent that Michiana approved Calder’s reliance on where the effect of the activity was felt as a basis for jurisdiction, that analysis does not support jurisdiction in a case such as this, where any anticipated impact on the forum was far less substantial than in Calder. OPINION:Law, C.J.; Law, C.J., Pemberton and Waldrop, JJ.

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