Tagged: Forum Selection

The Power of New York’s Borrowing Statute

On October 11, 2016, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, decided 2138747 Ontario, Inc. v. Samsung C&T Corp., et al., which serves as a reminder to attorneys that New York’s borrowing statute applies even where the parties agreed to a New York choice-of-law provision. The borrowing statute, CPLR 202, provides that, when a non-New York resident sues on a cause of action accruing outside New York, the complaint must be filed timely under the statute of limitations of both New York and the jurisdiction where the cause of action accrued. The statute’s underlying objective is to prevent forum shopping by nonresident plaintiffs. In Ontario, the plaintiff, a corporation formed under the law of Ontario, Canada, was a creditor of SkyPower Corporation, a bankrupt Canadian renewable energy developer. SkyPower’s bankruptcy trustee assigned to the plaintiff all of its claims against the defendants. The plaintiff then sought damages against the defendants for a breach of a nondisclosure and confidentiality agreement (NDA), which contained a broad New York choice-of-law provision. The plaintiff’s complaint was untimely under Ontario’s two-year statute of limitations but was timely under New York’s six-year statute of limitations. The trial court found that Ontario’s two-year statute of limitations applied and dismissed the case. The Appellate Division affirmed. Although the court found...

Third Circuit Holds Non-Signatories May Be Bound By Forum Selection Clause

In Carlyle Investment Management LLC v. Moonmouth Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit concluded that a non-signatory to an agreement can be bound by a forum selection clause where the forum selection clause is valid, the non-signatory is a third-party beneficiary of the agreement or closely related to the agreement, and the claim arises from the non-signatory’s status related to the agreement.

Pennsylvania Superior Court Upholds Pennsylvania Choice-of-Law Provision in Restrictive Covenant Dispute Involving California Employee

In Synthes USA Sales, LLC v. Peter Harrison and Globus Medical, Inc., No. 12 EDA 2013, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania applied a Pennsylvania choice-of-law provision in an employment agreement containing confidentiality and non-solicitation provisions in a dispute over an employee who worked in California. In Pennsylvania, so-called “restrictive covenants” and “non-competes” are enforceable if they are incident to an employment relationship, reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate interests, reasonably limited in duration and geographical scope, and supported by adequate consideration. California law, in contrast, is notoriously hostile to restrictive covenants, with a statute rendering most employment restrictive covenants unenforceable.

Delaware Corporations May Enact Bylaws Requiring Litigation to be Venued in Delaware Courts

On June 25, 2013, the Delaware Court of Chancery paved the way for the boards of directors of Delaware corporations to amend their bylaws to include forum selection clauses requiring any litigation related to the corporation’s internal affairs to be conducted in Delaware courts. Adopting such provisions is intended to avoid the inefficiency and cost of Delaware corporations having to defend against the same litigation in multiple forums (e.g., both in Delaware and the state of the corporation’s principal place of business, as well as in state and federal court).

Delaware Supreme Court Holds Valid International Forum Selection Clause Dispositive in Determining Jurisdiction

In National Industries Group (Holding) v. Carlyle Investment Management LLC, Delaware’s Supreme Court unanimously held that a valid forum selection clause is dispositive in determining which court has jurisdiction over disputes arising under the contract. Even if a foreign corporation is party to the contract, Carlyle holds that any considerations weighing in favor of applying the doctrine of international comity do not override an otherwise valid forum selection clause.

Insurers Doing Business in New Jersey are Being Increasingly Precluded from Arbitrating Out-of-State

In Allied Professionals Insurance Co. v. Jodar, New Jersey’s Appellate Division affirmed a trial court order denying enforcement of an arbitration choice-of-forum provision in a medical malpractice insurance contract. The decision is notable because it broadly interprets prior Appellate Division case law, reaches a contrary result to a recent Law Division case where the issue went unchallenged, and paves the way for further extension of the result.