that no evidentiary hearing has been held, plaintiff need not, at this point, prove jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence. Rolls-Royce Motors, Inc., 657 F. Supp. at 1043.
The Court is to construe all pleadings and affidavits in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and is to resolve any doubts in the plaintiff's favor. See A.I. Trade Finance, Inc., 989 F.2d at 79, 80 (citing CutCo Industries, Inc. v. Naughton, 806 F.2d 361, 365 (2d Cir. 1986) and Hoffritz for Cutlery Inc. v. Amajac, Ltd., 763 F.2d 55, 57 (2d Cir. 1985)); Rolls-Royce Motors, Inc., 657 F. Supp. at 1043.
Whether this Court has personal jurisdiction over a defendant in a diversity action is determined under New York law. See Aluminal Industries, Inc. v. Newtown Commercial Associates, 89 F.R.D. 326, 328 (S.D.N.Y. 1980). N.C.C. contends that this Court has jurisdiction over defendants on the basis of N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 302(a)(1), as well as on the basis of § 302(a)(3).
Under § 302(a)(1), personal jurisdiction is proper where an individual "transacts any business" in New York if the cause of action arises from this transacting of business. See CutCo Indust., 806 F.2d at 365; McGowan v. Smith, 52 N.Y.2d 268, 272, 437 N.Y.S.2d 643, 419 N.E.2d 321 (1981).
Under § 302(a)(3), personal jurisdiction is proper where a defendant commits a tortious act outside of New York causing injury to person or property within New York. See Mareno v. Rowe, 910 F.2d 1043, 1046 (2d Cir. 1990).
B. APPLICATION OF N.Y. LONG-ARM STATUTE TO THE INSTANT ACTION
This Court finds that it has jurisdiction over the instant action under § 302(a)(1), on the grounds that defendants transacted business in New York and that the causes of action alleged in the complaint arose from this transaction of business. Accordingly, this Court need not and does not reach the issue of whether it has jurisdiction over the instant action pursuant to § 302(a)(3).
Under § 302(a)(1), a defendant is found to have transacted business where, as here, an agent for the defendant "physically entered the forum, met with the plaintiff, and discussed business" in an initial contact at a trade show. Xedit Corp. v. Harvel Industries Corp., Fidelipac, 456 F. Supp. 725, 728 (S.D.N.Y. 1978); see Maruzen Int'l, Co., Ltd. v. Bridgeport Merchandise, Inc., 770 F. Supp. 155, 160 (S.D.N.Y. 1991).
A cause of action can be said to arise from transaction of business in New York when, as here, the New York business discussions "were essential to the birth of the contract and fiduciary relationship that have allegedly been breached." Nee v. HHM Financial Services, Inc., 661 F. Supp. 1180, 1185 (S.D.N.Y. 1987).
The exercise of New York State's long-arm jurisdiction in this case comports with "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 90 L. Ed. 95, 66 S. Ct. 154 (1945). By attending the Javits Center lighting industry trade show in May 1992, defendants have "purposefully availed [themselves] of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws." Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 474, 85 L. Ed. 2d 528, 105 S. Ct. 2174 (1985).
Accordingly, this Court finds -- based on the fact that agents of the defendants physically entered New York and engaged in discussions that were essential to formation of the contract at the heart of this action -- that defendants have transacted business in New York such that jurisdiction over defendants exists pursuant to § 302(a)(1) and due process requirements.
Defendants alternatively move the Court to dismiss this action because of improper venue pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3). Section 1391(a) provides that venue is proper in a diversity action if the action is filed in a district where: (1) any of the defendants reside, if all defendants reside in the same state; (2) a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred; or (3) the defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a).
The "substantial part" language was added to § 1391(a) as part of the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-650, Title III, § 311, 104 Stat. 5114 (1990), superseding the former requirement that a diversity action be brought in the district where "the claim arose." 28 U.S.C.S. § 1391(a) (Supp. 1994). Citing both the text of the amendments and the underlying legislative history, the Second Circuit has interpreted the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 as clarifying Congress' intent that Federal courts may recognize multiple venues as appropriate in a given case. See Bates v. C & S Adjusters, Inc., 980 F.2d 865, 867 (2d Cir. 1992) (citing H.R.Rep. No. 734, 101st Cong., 2d Sess. 23, reprinted in 1990 U.S.C.C.A.N. 6860, 6869); see also Jaquith v. Newhard, 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5214, 1993 WL 127212 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (Leisure, J.); Schenk v. Red Sage, Inc., 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6604, 1992 WL 111096 (S.D.N.Y. 1992) (Leisure, J.); Generale Bank, New York Branch v. Wassel, 779 F. Supp. 310 (S.D.N.Y. 1991) (Leisure, J.).
In the instant case, this Court finds that since "a substantial part of the events . . . giving rise to the claim," 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(2), occurred in New York in the form of the trade show discussions between N.C.C. president Evanisko and Transtek representatives Silverman and Lozoya, venue is established under § 1391(a)(2). Indeed, there would have been no contract between N.C.C. and Transtek but for the Javits Center contact. Defendants' representatives attended the trade show in New York City precisely because such a show can play a "substantial part" in the development of business relationships and subsequent contracts.
Accordingly, finding venue to be properly established pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a)(2), this Court denies defendants' motion to dismiss for improper venue.
For the above stated reasons, this Court hereby denies in its entirety defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction or in the alternative for improper venue. All parties to this action are hereby ordered to appear before this Court on July 22, 1994, at 10:30 a.m., for a pre-trial conference in Room 312, United States Courthouse, 40 Centre Street, New York, New York.
New York, New York
June 20, 1994
Peter K. Leisure