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Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia
July 27, 2020, Decided
Case No. CL-2019-9418
[*370] In this defamation case, a United Kingdom ("UK") news publication allegedly defamed a UK solicitor1 practicing in the UK at a UK law firm, involving actions that occurred in the UK, through news stories of parochial interest to UK readers, to gain favor with UK police. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, 4, 6-8.) The distilled question before the Court is, why is this case in Fairfax, Virginia, USA? The legal question is, can the Court properly exercise personal jurisdiction over the UK Defendants under [**2] Virginia's Long Arm Statute2 and the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution?3
Plaintiff has not facially demonstrated that the Court can exercise personal jurisdiction over the Defendants.4 He has not shown within the four corners of his thrice Amended Complaint that there was any injury in Virginia, any causally connected tortious conduct in Virginia, or any causally connected substantial business in Virginia. Because he failed, as a matter of law, to plead any of the necessary grounds for Virginia to hail the UK Defendants into Virginia court, the Court dismisses the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.
[*371] I. BACKGROUND: A UK SOLICITOR AND NOW CALIFORNIA RESIDENT, ALLEGEDLY DEFAMED IN THE UK BY UK COMPANIES ABOUT MATTERS THAT OCCURRED IN THE UK INVOLVING UK POLICE WHILE HE WAS PRACTICING LAW IN THE UK, CHOOSES FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA, USA, TO MAKE HIS STAND.
Plaintiff Shahrokh Mireskandari ("Plaintiff" or "Mr. Mireskandari"), a California resident, asserts defamation and unjust enrichment claims against Defendants Daily Mail & General Trust PLC and DMG Media Limited d/b/a Associated Newspapers (U.S.A.) Limited5 (collectively, "Defendants" or "Daily Mail"6, UK companies, based on two articles published in 2018 in Defendants' [**3] newspaper,7 Daily Mail, claiming he was a "bogus solicitor" with "bogus legal qualifications." (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1-4, 6-8.)
In support of personal jurisdiction, Plaintiff points to three grounds, citing Virginia Code § 8.01-328.1(A)(3) and (4) ("Virginia's Long Arm Statute"):
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
105 Va. Cir. 370 *; 2020 Va. Cir. LEXIS 104 **
Shahrokh Mireskandari v. Daily Mail & General Trust PLC, et al.
Prior History: Shahrokh Mireskandari v. Daily Mail, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67877 (C.D. Cal., May 15, 2012)
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