Houston partner Matthew W. Caligur authored an article, “Decision Limits Scope of Discovery After Special Appearance,” which was published in the March 21, 2011, issue of Texas Lawyer. The article described how Houston’s 1st Court of Appeals limited the scope of discovery available to a party when a nonresident defendant has entered a special appearance objecting to personal jurisdiction.
“The ruling is good news for trial lawyers representing nonresident defendants. It will require attorneys for plaintiffs seeking to obtain personal jurisdiction over such defendants to craft jurisdictional allegations in a way designed to obtain meaningful discovery to fight the special appearance,” Caligur wrote. He noted that the opinion affords nonresident defendants a higher degree of protection against wide-ranging discovery during the jurisdictional stage of a case, and it provides incentives for nonresidents to challenge personal jurisdiction.
Caligur concludes that it will be incumbent upon plaintiffs to expand to details of the jurisdictional allegations to ensure that jurisdictional discovery will produce meaningful information to contest the special appearance.
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