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This is an appeal from a denial of a special appearance filed by a Minnesota law firm in a suit against it filed by a former member of the firm. In the suit, appellee William J. French (French) asserted that the law firm had tortiuously interfered with a contract and conspired to further interfere with his contractual rights. Because the appellant law firm waived any challenge to the trial court’s personal jurisdiction over it, we affirm the trial court’s order.

The factual and procedural history of the underlying dispute is complex but helpful to an understanding of the issue presented. In 1995, French was a partner in the Milwaukee law firm of Gibbs, Roper, Loots & Williams (the Gibbs firm) and represented plaintiffs in several class action suits. The Gibbs firm decided that it no longer supported that litigation. French left the Gibbs firm to join the Whittenburg law firm in Amarillo. Upon his departure in December 1995, French entered into a detailed separation agreement with the Gibbs firm that set out the rights of the parties to fees and costs recovered in the class action suits. When French joined the Amarillo firm, it became Conant, Whittenburg, French & Schachter (CWFS). The Gibbs firm subsequently merged with another Minnesota firm under the firm name von Briesen, Purtell & Roper (VPR). VPR does not dispute that, by virtue of the merger, it became bound by the separation agreement.

When settlement of the class action became imminent, a dispute arose about the interpretation of the 1995 separation agreement. In April 1998, CWFS filed a declaratory judgment suit in the 251st District Court of Randall County seeking a declaration of the rights of the parties under the separation agreement. In the suit, VPR, French, and another attorney named Robert Gegios were also named as parties. *fn1 The action was removed to federal court in which VPR filed an answer, cross-claims, and counterclaims against French and CWFS alleging breach of contract, interference with contract, conversion, and unjust enrichment. The suit was subsequently remanded back to the 251st District Court in which VPR filed another answer and reasserted the cross-claims and counterclaims.

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