Another successful defense of an international client in U.S. litigation!

Tom Pender and Bill Cremer obtained dismissal of all counts in a case involving a multi-million dollar estate filed in federal court in Los Angeles against a Swiss lawyer and his law firm. In this case, a California lawyer accused the firm's Swiss clients of conspiracy to commit conversion and fraud in connection with their representation of the wife of a decedent who left a large estate in a Swiss trust. The clients had obtained a disbursement of the Swiss trust assets to the decedent's spouse through the Swiss courts. However, the plaintiff in our case, the California lawyer who had written one of the decedent's wills, challenged that disbursement and sought recovery of the funds from the lawyers and bank involved in the Swiss litigation. The California lawyer claimed that the estate proceeds rightfully belonged to his (the lawyer's) three adult children. We filed a motion to dismiss the California suit based on lack of personal jurisdiction over the Swiss defendants (even though they had represented clients from California in other cases), and also asserted a forum selection clause from one of the Trust documents (which set jurisdiction in Switzerland). In a recent ruling, the Los Angeles federal court granted the motion to dismiss the action in its entirety.