Contino & Lastorino Secure Pre-Answer Dismissal Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

September 16, 2016 | Professional Liability | Directors & Officers Liability

Peter C. Contino and Carol A. Lastorino secured a pre-answer dismissal of the complaint against our client, an out-of-state attorney and law firm, arising out of an out-of-state litigation based on the lack of personal jurisdiction.  Plaintiff argued that the Court had personal jurisdiction over the defendants because the law firm previously maintained an office in New York; the nonresident attorney was admitted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; and the defendants mailed court documents from another state to a party in New York.

The Court held that our clients did not transact business in New York under CPLR 301 because their New York office closed before commencement of the action and jurisdiction is determined at the time service of process is effectuated.  The Court held that the attorney did not transact business in New York based on his admission to the Southern District because he participated in only one case during the period of his admission which was ultimately transferred to an out-of-state court.

The Court further held that there was no long-arm jurisdiction under CPLR 302 based on the mailing of out-of-state court documents to a party in New York because the relationship, if any,  between the mailing and the State is insubstantial and does not satisfy the nexus requirement.  The Court concluded that allowing long arm jurisdiction over our clients would violate due process.

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