A New York lawyer who is accused of wrongly advising a firm to indication an unfavorable contract escaped a lawsuit in Texas due to the fact an legal professional-client relationship wasn’t sufficient for a courtroom in that point out to have jurisdiction in excess of him.
Though an legal professional-shopper romantic relationship existed amongst Hinduja Worldwide Answer, Inc. and Ali Ganjaei, there’s no proof the attorney sought clientele or otherwise affirmatively promoted private small business in Texas, the Texas Court docket of Appeals, Fifth District said, affirming the trial court’s conclusion.
Dallas-based Synergy World-wide Outsourcing LLC introduced a lawsuit in Texas for breach of deal versus HGSI, with whom it had a extensive-standing business relationship, the appeals courtroom claimed. Synergy procured buyers for Illinois-centered HGSI’s administration products and services in trade for a fee. Synergy alleged HGSI didn’t fulfill a contract—which permitted it to accumulate a stream of regular monthly payments in perpetuity—when it failed to satisfy its payment obligations.
HGSI asserted counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy to bring about breach of fiduciary obligation towards Synergy and Ganjaei. HGSI precisely claims that Ganjaei, the business’s legal counsel, gave the corporation bad authorized guidance by advising it to indication the perpetuity contract. It claims Ganjaei experienced a conflict of interest simply because he also labored for yet another corporation, HBI Group Inc., which obtained a vast majority stock situation in Synergy.
Ganjaei challenged the court’s particular jurisdiction in excess of him, arguing that he’s a resident of New Jersey, and in no way lived in Texas. He also reported he’s certified to follow legislation in New York and has never ever carried out authorized expert services in Texas. The trial court docket granted his motion to dismiss for absence of personal jurisdiction, but HGSI appealed.
For the reason that Ganjaei was sued in his person capability, “only his contacts in that capacity are relevant” to the jurisdictional problem, the courtroom mentioned Jan. 13.
Ganjaei didn’t purposefully avail himself of the gains and protection of Texas legislation mainly because there is no evidence Ganjaei individually specific the point out, sought Texas assets, or sought buyers there, the courtroom stated. “The report exhibits HBI, not Ganjaei obtained an fascination in Synergy, and there is no assertion or proof that HBI is Ganjaei’s change moi,” the courtroom additional.
Justice Carolyn Wright, sitting down by assignment, sent the viewpoint. Justices Robbie Partida-Kipness and Erin A. Nowell had been portion of the panel.
Susman Godfrey LLP represented HGSI. Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann LLP represented Ganjaei.
The circumstance is Hinduja World-wide Resolution, Inc. v. Ganjaei, Tex. App., 5th Dist., No. 05-22-00052-CV, 1/13/23.