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Steinberg Law, LLC Wins Dismissal of Business Litigation - Hague Convention

December 2019

Steinberg Law, LLC recently won dismissal of a significant commercial lawsuit against one its clients.  The client is an Indian exporter of goods to the United States. The claims asserted against the client by the plaintiff, a New Jersey-based importer, were contained in 14 counts, ranging from breach of contract to unfair competition to violation of state statutes governing electronic communications.  The case began with the plaintiff's filing of an Order to Show Cause, an expedited means of obtaining an injunction against conduct that the plaintiff claimed to be unlawful.  Had the plaintiff's request for an injunction been granted, the client's economic interests could have been seriously harmed.

Attorney Frank Steinberg entered a limited appearance on behalf of the defendant and moved to dismiss the complaint for improper service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction.   Investigation revealed that the plaintiff had improperly served the complaint and Order to Show Cause upon the defendant, in violation of the Hague Convention.  The Hague Convention is an international compact to which the United States is a signatory.  It is an agreement among nations to provide for the fair and predictable conduct of commercial litigation among citizens of different countries.  India, also a signatory, has not agreed to all of the methods for service of process recognize under the Convention.  Rather, it requires that its citizens be served in certain limited ways under the law of India. 

The court found that plaintiff had served the defendant improperly in violation of the Hague Convention, that the court therefore had no personal jurisdiction over the defendant, and that the court could not, in the circumstances, ever get good personal jurisdiction over the defendant.  Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed.

Steinberg Law is honored to have been entrusted with the defense of this matter and pleased to have obtained a favorable result for our client. 

Practice area(s): Civil Litigation

Frank Steinberg

Frank is the founder and principal of Steinberg Law, LLC. A Jersey boy born and bred, he focuses on employment litigation and counseling, business litigation,  and aviation law. Following law school and a clerkship in the federal district court Frank spent his early career with large litigation ...