Monday, July 3, 2017

Employing Exclusive Sales Representative Within District Sufficient to Establish Regular and Established Place of Business

Following the Supreme Court's decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017), the court denied defendant's motion to transfer for improper venue and found that defendant had a regular and established place of business in the forum through its employment of a sales representative in the forum. "At the time this case was filed, [defendant's sales representative in the forum] worked exclusively for [defendant] as a sales executive in this District. [The sales representative] had been working full-time for [defendant] from within the Eastern District of Texas for over seven years. [Defendant] paid [him] a salary and maintained [his] compensation plan online through its human resources department, which outlined his territory and assignments. . . . [Defendant] provided [its sales representative] with 'administrative support' from [defendant's] Minnesota office such that [he] could continue working from his office in the Eastern District of Texas. Under this arrangement, [he] contacted and sold products to customers using an 'office' telephone number with an Eastern District of Texas area code. . . . Technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate and the way consumers interact with those businesses. . . . This important shift has been recognized by many courts."

Raytheon Company v. Cray, Inc., 2-15-cv-01554 (TXED June 29, 2017, Order) (Gilstrap, USDJ)

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