• February 20, 2009

Word today that the Minnesota Supreme Court granted cert on this case, discussed originally on this blog back in December.

Paulownia Plantations de Panama Corporation vs. Ambrose Harry Rajamannan, A07-2199 (Minn. Ct. App., 12/10/08)

A Man, A Plan, Paulownia Trees, Panama, or “Oh lord, stuck in Anoka County again. Rode in on the greyhound, Ill be walkin out if I go. I was just passin through, must be seven months or more.” (Credence Clearwater Revival)

A recent and infrequent forum non conveniens case was decided by the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversing the trial court’s dismissal based on forum non conveniens. The case involved the failed investment in Paulownia trees in Panama, with the money having flowed through a Minnesota-based TCF bank account. The trial court granted a motion to dismiss in favor of having the case handled in Panama. The plaintiff argued, however, that no case would be viable in Panama. The Court of Appeals confirmed that a prerequisite to justify a grant of a forum non conveniens motion is an “available and adequate” alternative forum. The Court further sided with plaintiff’s construction of Panamanian law (supported by its expert in Latin American law) that the case would not be heard in Panama.

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