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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion. O P I N I O N PER CURIAM: SUMMARY The underlying action arises out of Robert P. Baker’s (“Baker”) one-night stay atthe Rio Suite Hotel Casino (“the Rio”). Because Baker believed that the Rio wasengaging in false advertising by calling its hotel rooms “suites,” Baker beganwriting letters to the Rio, demanding that it delete the word “suite” from itsadvertising and threatening suit. Eventually, the Rio filed a declaratory action inNevada district court naming Baker as the defendant and seeking a declaration thatit was not violating Nevada or California law by its use of the term “suite.” Bakerthereafter filed a motion to quash service based on lack of personal jurisdiction.The district court denied this motion. Consequently, Baker filed a petition for writof prohibition with this court, alleging that the district court exceeded itsjurisdiction in ruling that the Nevada courts had jurisdiction over him. We concludethat the district court properly exercised specific jurisdiction over Baker. Wetherefore deny the petition for writ of prohibition. STATEMENT OF THE FACTS Baker has been a resident of Los Angeles, California, since December 1977. Baker hasbeen practicing law in California since 1977 and is the managing partner and soleowner of the law firm of Baker and Jacob. In October 1996, Baker became a member of the State Bar of Nevada. Baker, however,has never represented any party besides himself in any suit in any state or federalcourt in Nevada. For several years prior to 1997, while in California, Baker saw and heard variousadvertisements for the Rio, which stated that it was an “all suite hotel.” Bakerunderstood the word “suite” to mean a set of rooms connected by some architecturalfeature to be used by one person. In early March 1997, Baker’s secretary booked hima suite with a king size bed at the Rio. Baker needed to go to Las Vegas for thepurpose of visiting certain soul food restaurants and jazz clubs to “sample” thecompetition, as Baker had invested in a venture that was considering opening such anestablishment in Las Vegas. Additionally, Baker was planning a family trip to LasVegas and wanted to explore whether the Rio was an appropriate place for his familyto stay. Baker checked into the Rio on the evening of March 12, 1997. The next morning, Bakercomplained to a Rio employee about the fact that his room was not a suite, as itallegedly did not have a separate seating area partitioned by some sort ofarchitectural feature. When the Rio employee insisted that the room was a suite,Baker left without checking out or signing his credit card receipt. Later, the Riodebited Baker’s credit card, but Baker made no attempt to dispute the charge. Upon Baker’s return to Los Angeles, he began writing letters to the Rio. On March20, 1997, Baker wrote a letter to the Rio, notifying it that Baker would take”appropriate legal action” if the Rio did not “admit and correct” its wrongdoing –namely, advertising itself as an “all suite” hotel when it was not. Apparently,because the Rio did not respond to Baker’s first letter, he sent a second letter onApril 9, 1997. In this letter, Baker threatened suit under California law for falseadvertising, demanded that such advertising cease, and that the Rio rectify itsmisconduct by compensating all prior California Rio guests with a $50.00 refund or afree night’s stay. A Rio vice president sent Baker a letter acknowledging receipt of Baker’s letters onApril 25, 1997. Thereafter, Baker sent the Rio another letter, informing it that heintended to file suit under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act in late Mayand requesting a response by May 12, 1997. On May 13, 1997, the Rio responded byletter, restating its position that all its rooms were suites according to twohospitality industry texts and hospitality industry standards. Baker answered byletter on June 5, 1997, reaffirming his position that the Rio was engaging in falseadvertising and that his room could not “fairly be called a suite.” On June 6, 1997, the Rio sent yet another letter that pointed out that Baker and theRio fundamentally disagreed over the Rio’s use of the word “suite.” This letter alsosolicited specific information concerning settlement. Baker, in his written responsethree days later, made the following demands: (1) deletion of the word “suite” fromRio’s name and advertising; (2) compensation for prior California Rio guests in theform of $50.00 or a free night’s stay; and (3) $5,000.00 in attorney fees. Bakeremphasized that the aforementioned settlement would only resolve the matter inCalifornia. In June 1997, the same month that Baker wrote his letter concerning settlement, theRio filed an action for declaratory relief in the United States District Court forthe District of Nevada. In order to obtain jurisdiction in federal court, the Rioalleged that Baker had raised a claim concerning the validity of the Rio’strademark, which was a federal question within the purview of the Lanham Act. Bakermoved to dismiss the federal action on the ground that he had never raised a claimunder the Lanham Act. This motion was denied. Baker thereafter filed a counterclaim in the federal action, alleging that the Riowas engaged in false advertising in violation of the California Consumers LegalRemedies Act. Pre-trial discovery ensued, and according to Baker, numerous delays occurred infederal court for the next two years. Then, on July 7, 1999, the Rio moved tovoluntarily dismiss its complaint. According to Baker, this motion for dismissal wasmerely another delay tactic and “prior even to requesting the dismissal of its owncomplaint, [the] Rio had already filed this action to begin the precise lawsuit overagain from the beginning.” According to the Rio, however, it moved to dismissbecause “there was a serious question regarding the federal court’s subject matterjurisdiction over [the] Rio’s claims and Baker’s counterclaims.” The Rio allegesBaker opposed the motion to dismiss, but it was granted without prejudice. Thereafter, on July 8, 1999, the Rio filed a complaint for declaratory relief instate district court, seeking a declaration that it was not violating Nevada orCalifornia law by its use of the term “suite” in its name or advertising. Baker waspersonally served on August 9, 1999, but thereafter filed a motion to quash service,alleging that Nevada lacked personal jurisdiction over him. After conducting ahearing on Baker’s motion to quash, the district court denied Baker’s motion andruled jurisdiction over Baker was proper because Nevada had a substantial interestin having Nevada hotel matters resolved in Nevada and that Baker had sufficientNevada contacts. Believing that the district court erred in making this ruling, Baker filed apetition for writ of prohibition with this court, challenging the district court’srefusal to quash service of process and requesting a temporary stay of proceedingsin the district court. We granted Baker’s request for a temporary stay on October21, 1999. We now address the merits of Baker’s writ petition — namely, whether thedistrict court properly denied Baker’s motion to quash based on its conclusion thatNevada had personal jurisdiction in the underlying dispute. DISCUSSION A writ of prohibition is the appropriate remedy where a district court exceeded itsjurisdiction in refusing to quash service based on lack of personal jurisdiction.See Trump v. District Court, 109 Nev. 687, 692, 857 P.2d 740, 744 (1993). Inreviewing the district court’s determination that personal jurisdiction can beproperly exercised, we conduct a de novo review in matters where the facts are notdisputed. See Panavision Int’l v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316, 1319-20 (9th Cir. 1998). Nevada’s long-arm statute, NRS 14.065, reaches the limits of due process set by theUnited States Constitution. See Judas Priest v. District Court, 104 Nev. 424, 426,760 P.2d 137, 138 (1988). In order for a forum state to obtain personal jurisdictionover a nonresident defendant, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendmentrequires that the defendant have “minimum contacts” with the forum state “such thatthe maintenance of the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair play andsubstantial justice.’” Mizner v. Mizner, 84 Nev. 268, 270, 439 P.2d 679, 680 (1968)(citing International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)).Additionally, a forum state’s exercise of jurisdiction over a defendant must bereasonable. See Trump, 109 Nev. at 699, 857 P.2d at 748. There are two types ofpersonal jurisdiction: general and specific. See id. We will address each in turn. A. General jurisdiction Baker first contends that Nevada courts lack general jurisdiction over him becausehis status as a nonresident, nonpracticing member of the Nevada bar is insufficientto support a conclusion that Baker had systematic and continuing contacts withNevada. We agree that the Nevada courts lack general jurisdiction over Baker. General jurisdiction is required in matters where a defendant is held to answer in aforum for causes of action unrelated to his forum activities. See Trump, 109 Nev. at699, 857 P.2d at 748. General jurisdiction over a nonresident will lie where thenonresident’s activities in the forum are “substantial” and “continuous andsystematic.” Id. (citations omitted). At least two jurisdictions have held thatmembership in the state bar, in and of itself, does not subject an individual togeneral jurisdiction in the state of membership because such contact is notsubstantial, continuous, or systematic. See Worthington v. Small, 46 F. Supp. 2d1126, 1134 (D. Kan. 1999); Crea v. Busby, 55 Cal. Rptr. 2d 513, 516 (Ct. App. 1996). We agree with the Worthington and Crea courts that state bar membership does notnecessarily implicate substantial, continuous, or systematic contact. Although theRio properly notes that nonresident bar members are regulated by our supreme courtrules (“SCR”), we conclude that a nonresident bar member could comply with theserules without having continuous and systematic contact with the State of Nevada. [FOOTNOTE 1] Infact, a nonresident, nonpracticing bar member’s compliance with the SCR couldconsist solely of sending a yearly check and an address update form upon relocation. Accordingly, we conclude that the district courts of Nevada lack generaljurisdiction over Baker on the basis of his bar membership. B. Specific jurisdiction Specific jurisdiction over a defendant will lie only where the cause of actionarises from the defendant’s purposeful contacts with the forum state. See Trump, 109Nev. at 699, 857 P.2d at 748. A state may exercise specific jurisdiction over adefendant in instances where: (1) the defendant purposefully establishes contactwith the forum state and affirmatively directs his conduct toward the state; and (2)the cause of action arises from such purposeful contact with the forum. See id. at699-700, 857 P.2d at 748. With respect to the first requisite, also known as the purposeful availmentrequirement, Baker argues that he did not avail himself of the forum of Nevadabecause the instant dispute did not arise from his hotel stay in Nevada, but ratherit arose from the Rio’s false advertising in California. We conclude that thiscontention lacks merit because the true “injury” to Baker — specifically, having tostay in an allegedly standard-size hotel room that was advertised as a suite –arose from Baker’s stay in Nevada on March 12, 1997. Indeed, had Baker not stayed atthe Rio, he would never have thought that the Rio’s California advertisements werefalse. Accordingly, Baker purposely availed himself of the forum of Nevada bystaying the night at the Rio. With respect to the second requisite, assuming that Baker purposely directed himselfto the forum of Nevada, Baker argues that his cause of action did not arise out ofhis contact with Nevada. Specifically, Baker argues that merely sleeping in the Riofor one night does not establish a substantial connection with the state. Weconclude that this argument lacks merit because Baker’s injuries arose directly fromhis hotel stay. See Firouzabadi v. District Court, 110 Nev. 1348, 1355, 885 P.2d616, 621 (1994) (for purposes of specific jurisdiction, claims must have a specificand direct relationship or be intimately related to the forum). Although Bakerinsists that his injury directly arose in California where he heard the Rio’s falseand misleading ads, Baker’s alleged injury occurred in Nevada where he discoveredthat not all of the Rio’s hotel rooms consisted of two rooms, and thus allegedly arenot “suites.” Baker further argues that even if the two requisites for specific jurisdiction aresatisfied, it would be unreasonable to subject him to jurisdiction in Nevada becauseNevada has no forum interest in this matter. We disagree. When determining whether personal jurisdiction will lie, this court must considerwhether it is reasonable to require a defendant to defend a particular suit here.See Trump, 109 Nev. at 701, 857 P.2d at 749. Factors relevant to this inquiry, amongothers, include the forum state’s interest in adjudicating the dispute and theinterstate judicial system’s interest in the most efficient resolution ofcontroversies. See id. We conclude that it is reasonable to require Baker to litigate this matter inNevada. First, Nevada has an interest in resolving matters arising from injuriesthat occur while nonresidents are staying in its hotels. Second, hearing this matterin Nevada would promote our long-standing policy of judicial efficiency because thehotel “suite,” the alleged false marketing information, and many of the witnesses,with the exception of Baker, are located in this state. Accordingly, because Baker purposely directed himself to the forum of Nevada andbecause the exercise of jurisdiction over Baker is reasonable, we conclude that theNevada courts have specific jurisdiction over Baker. CONCLUSION We conclude that Nevada does not have general jurisdiction over Baker based solelyon his bar membership. However, we further conclude that the district court did notexceed its jurisdiction in denying Baker’s motion to quash service for lack ofpersonal jurisdiction because the Nevada courts have specific jurisdiction overBaker arising from his hotel stay. Accordingly, we deny Baker’s petition for writ ofprohibition. :::FOOTNOTES::: FN1 The Rio brings four specific supreme court rules (“SCR”) to this court’s attention:(1) SCR 98, which requires all Nevada bar members to pay yearly fees; (2) SCR 79,which requires all Nevada bar members to keep the bar informed of their currentaddress; (3) SCR 99, which subjects all bar members to the exclusive disciplinaryjurisdiction of this court; and (4) SCR 203.5, which provides that this court hasjurisdiction to impose discipline of its members, even for acts committed in anotherstate. We have considered these rules and do not agree that they give rise tocontinuous and systematic contact with the State of Nevada.
Baker v. 8th District Court of Nevada In the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada Robert P. Baker, an individual, Petitioner, vs. The Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, in and for the County of Clark, and The Honorable Gary L. Redmon, District Judge, Respondents, and RPI Properties, Inc., a Nevada Corporation, Real Party in Interest. No. 34997 Filed: June 5, 2000 Before: ROSE, C.J., AGOSTI and LEAVITT, JJ. Counsel: Nikolas L. Mastrangelo, Las Vegas, for Petitioner. Lionel Sawyer & Collins and Dennis L. Kennedy, Las Vegas, for Real Party inInterest.
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