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Green v. Advance Ross Elecs. Corp - 86 Ill. 2d 431, 56 Ill. Dec. 657, 427 N.E.2d 1203 (1981)

Rule:

Under long arm jurisdiction, the connection of one counter-defendant with Illinois cannot be attributed to another simply because they have a common interest.

Facts:

Counter-defendant Roy W. Green, Sr. ("Green, Sr."), a Texas resident, sold his business in Texas to defendant Advance Ross Corporation ("Advance"), a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Illinois. Upon the sale, he became president of Advance Ross Steel Corporation ("Steel"), a Texas corporation, the subsidiary of Advance; he also became president of another subsidiary, Advance Ross Electronics Corporation ("Electronics"), incorporated in Illinois. In addition, he became a director of Advance Ross. Steel and Electronics conducted business entirely outside Illinois. Green, Sr. was later replaced as president of the subsidiaries by his son, plaintiff Roy W. Green, Jr. ("Green, Jr."), and his service as director was terminated. Green, Sr., however, served as a consultant for Steel. Later, at the direction of his superior, Green, Jr., terminated Green, Sr., as consultant; on his own direction, Green, Jr., paid his father six months' salary as severance pay from Steel's funds. Green, Jr.'s employment was terminated after he refused the superior's demand to return those funds. Green, Jr., then filed a lawsuit against Electronics and Advance in Illinois state court alleging breach of his employment contract. Electronics and Advance filed a counterclaim against Green, Jr., and also filed a motion to join Green, Sr., as an additional counter-defendant, claiming that Green, Sr., directly, and as a co-conspirator with his son during the son's employment by Steel had misappropriated corporate assets and improperly converted them to his own use. Green, Sr., filed a special and limited appearance to contest jurisdiction in Illinois over his person. The circuit court denied defendants' motion to join Green, Sr., as an additional party; the appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court of Illinois granted defendants' leave to appeal.

Issue:

Did the Illinois court acquire jurisdiction over Green, Sr.?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The state supreme court affirmed the appellate court's judgment. The court held that the tortious acts committed by Green, Sr., if any, and the losses or injuries flowing from those acts, were completed when they occurred in Texas. Green, Jr., the court ruled, was subject to Illinois jurisdiction because he chose it, but no matter how much more convenient and economical it was to adjudicate the counterclaim against both Green, Jr., and Green, Sr., in the same action in Illinois, Green, Sr., could not be brought under the authority of Illinois courts. The connection of Green, Jr., with Illinois was not attributable to his father.

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