Thursday, May 31, 2018

Case of the Day: Melaleuca, Inc. v. Kot Nam Shan, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71296 (D. Idaho Apr. 24, 2018)


Plaintiff is an Idaho-based supplements company with a wholly owned subsidiary in China. To aid the marketing in China, plaintiff hired the defendant marketing director. The plaintiff alleges the defendant resigned and began working for a competitor in China, in violation of the non-compete agreement between the parties. Defendant moved to dismiss based on forum non conveniens and lack of personal jurisdiction.

The court granted the motion on both counts. The court found there was no personal jurisdiction because although the defendant may have directed his statement toward recipients in Idaho, the effect of the breach was felt in China. The court also found China provided adequate alternate forum.


Idaho has been one of the states that had been more favorably disposed to exercising long arm jurisdiction, but a case like this seems to mark a change in direction.