The Fort Worth Court of Appeals recently held that participating in board meetings via telephone with Texas residents is sufficient to establish specific jurisdiction in Texas. The court of appeals distinguished the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in Michiana Easy Livin’ Country, Inc. v. Holten as follows:

“Although the supreme court has disapproved opinions holding that . . . specific jurisdiction is necessarily established by allegations or evidence that a nonresident committed a tort in a telephone call from a Texas number, Michiana, 168 S.W.3d at 791 (emphasis added), it has not held that telephone calls are never sufficient to establish minimum contacts.”

Like Michiana, the Texas plaintiffs in this case telephoned the out-of-state defendants. Unlike Michiana, in which the plaintiff made one phone call, “this case involves many telephonic board meetings at regular intervals over a span of years.” This is a close case.  But, at the very least, it stands for the proposition that phone calls alone can constitute sufficient minimun contacts to establish specific jurisdiction.  A copy of the court of appeals’ opinion in Glencoe Capital Partners II, L.P. v. Gernsbacher can be found at this link