Weisman Celler Spett & Modlin v. Trans-Lux
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Judge Jesse Furman
Connecticut-based, Delaware corporation Trans-Lux is authorized to do business in New York. New York law firm Weisman Celler sued Trans-Lux to recover amounts owed for services between 2008 and July 2010. Asserting lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, and that the balance of conveniences favored the District of Connecticut, Trans-Lux sought dismissal of Weisman Celler's suit, or transfer to federal court in Connecticut. District court denied Trans-Lux's motion to dismiss or transfer. Discussing New York Business Corporation Law §304 and Rockefeller Univ. v. Ligand Pharms., the court ruled Trans-Lux's active authorization to do business in New York put it on notice that New York deems an authorization to do business as consent to jurisdiction. Citing 28 USC §1391(b)(1) and (c)(2), the court found Trans-Lux's claim that venue was improper within the Southern District was similarly meritless. Also, the seven factors in N.Y. Marine & Gen Ins. v. Lafarge N. Am. weighed against transfer. Among other things New York was a convenient forum for all parties, and the fact that New York and Connecticut are neighboring states mitigated against transfer as the inconvenience of litigating in a neighboring state is minimal.