Personal Jurisdiction

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Jurisdictional Law Firm in Texas | Experts in Personal Jurisdiction

At the Texas law firm of Saunders, Walsh & Beard, we have formed a unique practice group specifically devoted to helping out-of-state individuals and businesses who have been wrongly sued in Texas. These are clients who have no meaningful contacts or ties with the State of Texas, and who should be dismissed from the litigation based on a lack of personal jurisdiction under the due process clauses of the Texas and United States Constitutions. Relying on our experience in this specific area of the law, we assist these individuals and businesses in asserting their jurisdictional challenges in Texas’ trial and appellate courts. Our goal is to obtain a dismissal of the out-of-state client from the litigation, and save the client the time and expense of having to defend against a lawsuit in Texas. We work with the client, and in many cases the client’s own local attorney, to achieve that goal.

Obtaining dismissal from a Texas court based on a lack of personal jurisdiction is not easy, but it can be done. Texas prides itself on being different from other states, and the procedure for challenging personal jurisdiction is no exception. The procedure is called a “special appearance.” A special apearance is Texas’ version of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Like a traditional motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction (or Rule 12(b)(2) motion filed in federal court), the substance of a special appearance focuses on the out-of-state defendant’s lack of “minimum contacts” with the State of Texas sufficient to satisfy constitutional requirements of due process. If the out-of-state defendant lacks sufficient minimum contacts with the state of Texas, that defendant should be dismissed from the Texas litigation.While the substance of a special appearance is similar to what is often found in jurisdictional motions filed in other states, the procedures in Texas are different and can provide a trap for the unwary client or out-of-state attorney who may be unfamiliar with the process. A failure to follow the proper procedures can result in a waiver of any challenge to jurisdiction,resulting in the client having to defend against the case on the merits. It is therefore vitally important to have a Texas law firm involved — but not just any law firm. What is needed is a law firm with particular expertise in this area, one whose lawyers have a proven track record of obtaining dismissal of out-of-state clients in other cases.At Saunders, Walsh & Beard, our attorneys have a wealth of experience handling special appearances in Texas’ trial and appellate courts. The head of our practice group, Alex Beard, was counsel of record for the out-of-state defendant in the landmark Texas Supreme Court decision on personal jurisdiction, Moki Mac River Expeditions v. Drugg, 270 S.W.3d 799 (Tex. 2008). Over the past several years, Mr. Beard alone has successfully prosecuted 8 special appearances, saving his out-of-state clients substantial expense (and not to mention hassle) of having to defend against litigation filed in Texas. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we might be able to help you (or if you are a lawyer, your client) obtain a similar result.