The moving party bears the burden of showing why another party is indispensable and dismissal is proper under FRCP 12(b)(7).
Defendant Mississippi lawyers brought a motion to dismiss plaintiff law professor's breach of contract action for lack of personal jurisdiction. Defendant South Carolina lawyers brought a motion to dismiss the professor's action for failure to join an indispensable party and a change of venue. Plaintiffs worked with the defendants representing state governments in litigation. The professor claimed he had an oral agreement for legal fees with the South Carolina lawyers, which also applied to the Mississippi lawyers. After the professor filed a breach of contract action in his local federal court, the Mississippi lawyers brought a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court granted the motion because the Mississippi lawyers did not purposefully avail themselves of the privilege of conducting business in the forum state, with whom their contracts were insufficient to confer jurisdiction under the long-arm statute, or under due process principles. The South Carolina lawyers then brought a motion to dismiss the action for failure to join an indispensable party and a change of venue.
Was the motion to dismiss and for change of venue properly granted in the action for failure to join an indispensable party?
The court denied the motion because as co-obligors under an alleged contract, the Mississippi lawyers were not necessary or indispensable parties, and because the professor's choice of forum was entitled to deference.