A dispute between a Tennessee plaintiffs’ firm and a Maryland plaintiffs’ firm over responsibility for litigation expenses will be resolved in Tennessee, says the Tennessee Court of Appeals.
The Wolff Ardis firm in Memphis and the Law Offices of Jonathan Dailey in Washington, D.C. teamed up together to work on a auto glass product liability case in Maryland. They had a written agreement on the division of case expenses; the agreement was governed by the law of Virginia. There was a defense verdict in the case, and Wollf Ardis billed Dailey for $48,63.45 it claimed it was owned under the agreement. Wolff Ardis filed suit against Dailey in Memphis, and Dailey contested the jurisdiction of the Tennessee courts.
The Court of Appeals held that Dailey could be sued in Tennessee. Applying the recent opinion of specific personal jurisdiction set forth in State v. NV Sumatra Tobacco Training Co., 403 S.W.3d 726 (Tenn. 2013), the court noted that a two-part test must be applied in determining whether Dailey could be sued in Tennessee: (1) are minimum contacts present (a fact fathering exercise) and (2) if minimum contacts exist, is the exercise of jurisdiction unreasonable or unfair.