David H. Rich is quoted in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on a recent federal appellate decision affirming the dismissal of a defamation suit against a foreign company for lack of personal jurisdiction.
An investment analyst’s defamation suit against an Israeli technology company cannot proceed in Massachusetts because the analyst failed to show that anyone in Massachusetts, particularly potential employers, saw the negative online review that is the basis of her suit, according to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
As a result, the analyst cannot show that the action of the technology company is related to any contact with Massachusetts, the court ruled.
The takeaway from the ruling, Mr. Rich told Lawyers Weekly, “is that you need to request jurisdictional discovery and develop a record when you have the chance. It seems like the court was not willing to go as far in drawing inferences in the plaintiff’s favor as the plaintiff was asking the court to do.”
A partner at Todd & Weld, Mr. Rich said it was significant that the gaps in the record recognized by the court on the question of jurisdiction also affected the ultimate merits of the plaintiff’s case.
“You may find that when you get jurisdictional discovery it may serve both purposes: filling in the blanks necessary for a successful jurisdictional finding, while gathering the evidence necessary to prove elements like harm, causation and damages,” he said.
Mr. Rich concentrates his practice on complex business and commercial litigation, First Amendment law, and employment law.