Attorney Chapar secured the dismissal of a case filed in Georgia against a foreign corporation, due to lack of personal jurisdiction. The case was filed against a foreign sub-distributor, the Firm’s client. The plaintiff, a foreign distributor, sued the foreign sub-distributor for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and tortious interference with contract. The contracts giving rise to the causes of action were all executed and performed outside of the United States. Plaintiff brought suit in Fulton County, Georgia, based on its contention that a few internet sales had been shipped to Georgia and that a few products had been offered for sale in Georgia.
In Innovative Clinical & Consulting Services, LLC v. First National Bank of Ames, Iowa, 279 Ga. 672, 620 S.E.2d 352 (2005), the Georgia Supreme Court overruled prior law that discounted intangible business contacts. The Court held that telephonic and other intangible business activity directed to the state can form the basis of personal jurisdiction, if otherwise consistent with due process.
Nonetheless, the Firm successfully argued that personal jurisdiction did not exist in this case because the alleged contacts with Georgia were unrelated to the cause of action and were not relevant to the jurisdictional analysis. The defendant in this case did nothing to solicit the sales from customers located in Georgia and did not negotiate with the customer regarding the sales. Rather, it simply fulfilled orders. As such, the Firm argued the defendant did not purposefully direct any actions or transactions at Georgia. The court agreed and dismissed the entire action. There was no appeal.