Excerpted from the September 14, 2020 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
In Collision Communications, Inc. v. Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy, a U.S. district court judge has determined that even though the chief operating officer of a New Hampshire technology company worked remotely in Boston, Massachusetts courts do not have personal jurisdiction in a contract dispute between foreign tech companies based on the fact that the COO was physically located in Boston.
But in transferring the case to New Hampshire federal court, Judge Allison D. Burroughs stated, “Massachusetts cannot be said to have an interest in adjudicating a dispute between a New Hampshire company, incorporated in Delaware, and a Finnish company, merely because the latter directed communications to an employee of the former who happened to be in this state,” Burroughs wrote.
Pierce Atwood litigation and class action partner Donald R. Frederico said, “it will be interesting to see if the remote-working phenomenon results in more attempts to exercise personal jurisdiction in locations where the employee is located but the employer is not.”
And while he was not surprised by the result in this matter, Don noted that decisions in future cases will be needed to further refine the law on the issue. “Whether this case means that you can never establish personal jurisdiction through remote working or whether the facts in this case simply weren’t strong enough to support personal jurisdiction is unclear,” he said.
The complete article by Pat Murphy can be found in the September 14, 2020 issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.