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Los Angeles Lawyer
The Magazine of the Los Angeles County Bar Association


December 2003 Vol. 26, No. 9

 
 

MCLE Article: Unsuitable

An antisuit injunction is a viable alternative to the unpredictability of motions to dismiss for forum non conveniens

By Jeffrey S. Raskin

Jeffrey S. Raskin is a partner in the San Francisco office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. He represents policyholders in complex insurance coverage litigation.

 
 


By reading this article and answering the accompanying test questions, you can earn one
MCLE credit. To apply for credit, please follow the instructions on the test.

 
 

Litigation seeking to affirm insurance coverage for toxic tort liabilities often extends beyond one state into other states, and even into foreign countries. Corporate policyholders frequently face lawsuits in numerous states as a result of their far-flung operations, the widespread distribution of their products, and the creativity of the plaintiff's bar. Their insurance policies, in many instances, were purchased from numerous insurance companies operating in many different places and, sometimes, through a number of different brokers who, themselves, might have brokered the policies in various different locations.

For these policyholders, an insurance coverage lawsuit legitimately can be filed in a number of different courts across the country-those located 1) where the policyholder, or its subsidiaries, are headquartered, 2) where the policyholder or its subsidiaries operate, 3) where the toxic tort lawsuits are pending, 4) where the insurance companies operate, or 5) where the insurance contracts were negotiated, brokered, executed, or delivered. Although all courts profess to adhere to choice of law principles intended to curtail forum shopping, the inescapable fact remains that "courts have a natural bias favoring the law of the state in which they sit."1 Retention of a party's chosen forum, therefore, can substantially affect the outcome of a multiparty, multistate insurance coverage lawsuit when the law on particular issues in dispute might differ from state to state.

With that in mind, California continues to be a favorable forum for policyholders to litigate insurance coverage disputes for toxic tort and other significant bodily injury liabilities. California law generally permits the policyholder to secure complete coverage under the maximum number of insurance policies2 and does not require the policyholder to absorb a portion of its defense costs, or indemnity expenses, corresponding to periods when it was "self-insured" or covered by now-insolvent insurance companies.3 The insurance companies, however, perceive advantages in the law of other jurisdictions, which they argue limit the number or the extent of insurance policies that might respond to a loss or otherwise require the policyholder to absorb that portion of its costs and expenses attributable to the time when the policyholder was self-insured. Thus, policyholders with national operations, national liabilities, and insurance policies that were negotiated, or issued, in various places sometimes find that their insurance coverage lawsuits filed in California are met with parallel lawsuits initiated by their insurance companies in less friendly jurisdictions.

The traditional response to parallel litigation regarding the same general subject matter consists of competing motions by policyholders and their insurers to dismiss each other's lawsuits for forum non conveniens. The doctrine of forum non conveniens generally seeks to ensure that litigation pending in more one court is adjudicated on its merits by the court with the closest connection to the parties' dispute.4 In ruling on such a motion, a court typically is required to balance various "private interest" factors-such as the relative ease of access to evidence, the availability of a compulsory process for the attendance of witnesses, and the cost of obtaining the attendance of witnesses-as well as certain "public interest" factors-such as the burden of imposing jury duty on a community that has no relationship to the litigation, the interest of localities in deciding controversies arising in their jurisdictions, and the avoidance of problems involving the conflict of laws.5

Motions to dismiss for forum non conveniens, however, are unpredictable. One commentator noted that the doctrine has resulted in "a crazy quilt of ad hoc, capricious and inconsistent decisions."6 Another stated that "seemingly indistinguishable cases have far too often yielded diametrically opposite results."7 An even less charitable observer remarked that it is "deeply unsatisfactory that judges are handling [forum non conveniens] matters instinctively and haphazardly," that the doctrine is marred by "flawed public policy rationales," and that, in the end, the doctrine "clearly costs more than it's worth."8 The U.S. Supreme Court itself noted that the discretionary nature of the forum non conveniens doctrine, combined with the "multifariousness of the factors relevant to its application," makes "uniformity and predictability of outcome almost impossible."9

Antisuit Injunctions

Policyholders whose California insurance coverage disputes are threatened by lawsuits filed elsewhere by their insurance companies have, however, another tool to employ in seeking to dispose of out-of-state parallel litigation in favor of their California action: the antisuit injunction. The underlying premise of an antisuit injunction is simple. It is "a legal order barring litigants from instituting or prosecuting the same or similar action in another state."10 This simple definition, however, masks the fact that the antisuit injunction can be a powerful tool in complex litigation, which is a label often affixed to multistate, multiparty insurance coverage litigation:

The issuance of an antisuit injunction greatly increases the probability that the issuing court will be the only court to hear a cause of action and dramatically decreases the chance that another court will preempt the jurisdiction of the issuing court by reaching a final judgment first. It avoids the possibility that two virtually identical causes of action will proceed concurrently in parallel courts. From the perspective of the litigants, the issuance of an antisuit injunction may heavily influence the outcome of the cause of action: To the extent that the injunction determines the forum for litigation, it decides choice-of-law rules, and often the substantive law that will govern the case.11

Under this analysis, receipt of an antisuit injunction thus not only can ensure that the policyholder maintains its selected forum but also can assist the policyholder in obtaining favorable rulings from its chosen court, given the "natural bias" of judges in favor of home state law.12 The California Supreme Court held recently that trial courts in California, consistent with principles of judicial restraint and comity, have the power to restrain parties under its jurisdiction from prosecuting parallel lawsuits in other states in certain circumstances.13

Last year the California Supreme Court offered guidance regarding antisuit injunctions in its decision in Advanced Bionics Corporation v. Medtronic, Inc.14 The supreme court had granted review in that case "to decide whether the superior court properly enjoined a party to a California lawsuit from taking any action in a Minnesota proceeding involving the same dispute."15 Although the Advanced Bionics case traveled a procedurally complex route, its pertinent facts are relatively straightforward. Mark Stultz held high-level product management jobs with Medtronic, Inc., a corporation headquartered in Minnesota. While employed by Medtronic, Stultz signed a noncompetition agreement that, among other things, provided that it would be governed by the laws of the state in which Stultz was last employed by Medtronic. Stultz resigned from Medtronic and went to work for Advanced Bionics Corporation, a Medtronic competitor headquartered in Sylmar, California.16 Stultz and Advanced Bionics immediately thereafter sued Medtronic for declaratory relief in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that the noncompetition agreement Stultz signed at Medtronic, and its choice of law provision, were void under California Business and Professions Code Section 16600.17

After some initial procedural wrangling, Medtronic filed a competing action in Minnesota state court alleging claims for breach of contract against Stultz and tortious interference with contract against Advanced Bionics. Shortly thereafter, Medtronic obtained a temporary restraining order in Minnesota enjoining Advanced Bionics from hiring Stultz in any competitive role and an order barring Advanced Bionics and Stultz from obtaining relief in another court that would effectively limit or stay the Minnesota lawsuit. The TRO ultimately became a preliminary injunction but did not include the provision restraining Advanced Bionics and Stultz from continuing to prosecute their California lawsuit.18 Nevertheless, after the Los Angeles Superior Court denied Medtronic's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Advanced Bionics and Stultz, it issued a temporary antisuit injunction against Medtronic:

[Medtronic is enjoined] from taking any action whatsoever, other than in this Court, to enforce [its covenant not to compete] against…Stultz or to otherwise restrain…Stultz from working for Advanced Bionics in California, including but not limited to making any appearance, filing any paper, participating in any proceedings, posting any bond, or taking any other action in the second-filed [Minnesota] lawsuit.19

After additional procedural battles in the Minnesota and Los Angeles courts, Medtronic sought relief in the Second District of the California Court of Appeal. The appellate court upheld the issuance of the temporary antisuit injunction because 1) the injunction was necessary to protect the interests of Advanced Bionics and Stultz pending final disposition of the action, 2) the case would be decided under California law, notwithstanding the choice of law provision in the noncompetition agreement, and 3) California courts should decide the dispute because California law would apply and the California action was filed first.20

The California Supreme Court reversed the Second District's decision, but it nevertheless articulated basic principles that should have an impact on the issuance of antisuit injunctions by the trial courts of this state. Justice Chin, writing for the court, first noted that antisuit injunctions have been recognized in California since at least the late nineteenth century: "We recognize that this is a case of first impression, but note that nearly 100 years ago, this court observed that '[t]he courts of this state have the same power to restrain persons within this state from prosecuting actions in either domestic or foreign jurisdictions which courts of equity have elsewhere.'"21

Despite a court's power to restrain parallel litigation, Chin stated further that the "significant principles of judicial restraint and comity inform that we should use this power sparingly."22 Although the court agreed with Advanced Bionics and Stultz that the competing Minnesota and Los Angeles actions filed by the parties presented the possibility of conflicting judgments arising in the parallel lawsuits, the court concluded, without much comment, that the Minnesota action nevertheless did not divest California of jurisdiction over the dispute.23 Further, Chin's opinion held that the principles of judicial restraint and comity meant that a TRO should not be issued merely because conflicting judgments might ultimately issue in two different lawsuits, filed in two different states, involving the same parties.24

Because Chin's opinion did not adopt a standard of general applicability for the use of antisuit injunctions in the trial courts-other than commenting that antisuit injunctions should only issue in an "exceptional circumstance that outweighs the threat to judicial restraint and comity principles"25-Justice Moreno offered a lengthy concurring opinion discussing the approaches taken by various courts in determining the appropriateness of an antisuit injunction and suggesting the standards that should apply in California.

After noting that state courts "employ various different tests to determine whether an antisuit injunction is appropriate,"26 Moreno observed that "Texas, for example, enjoins foreign suits 'sparingly, and only in very special circumstances.'"27 Moreno explained that Texas courts apply a "four-part test" that determines whether an antisuit injunction is warranted: "1) to address a threat to the court's jurisdiction; 2) to prevent the evasion of important public policy; 3) to prevent a multiplicity of suits; or 4) to protect a party from vexatious or harassing litigation."28

Moreno also discussed certain decisions in other jurisdictions that adopted a more "liberal" approach to granting antisuit injunctions. This approach allows antisuit injunctions merely, for example, to prevent a multiplicity of suits or to protect a party from vexatious and harassing litigation. Moreno stated, however, that he would adopt a more "restrictive" approach and permit antisuit injunctions primarily to protect the jurisdiction of the enjoining court, or to prevent a litigant's evasion of the important public policies of the forum in which the enjoining court is located.29 This, according to Moreno, "is clearly more protective of the principles of comity and judicial restraint."30

Moreno thus did not believe that the parallel lawsuit filed by Medtronic in Minnesota threatened the jurisdiction of the California court. The original TRO issued in Minnesota was only "defensive" in nature-that is, it only enjoined the parties from obtaining relief in another court that would "effectively stay or limit [the Minnesota] action."31 This order, however, did not become part of the preliminary injunction that the Minnesota court ultimately issued, which solely restricted Stultz's activities as an Advanced Bionics employee.32 Moreno contrasted the defensive posture of Medtronic in the Minnesota action with a party in another case that filed a parallel, foreign proceeding that was "solely designed to rob the court [where the case was originally filed] of its jurisdiction.33

Similarly, Moreno did not believe that Medtronic filed its Minnesota lawsuit to evade important California public policies. Although California and Minnesota might take opposite approaches to the enforcement of noncompetition agreements, Moreno posited that an actual evasion of important public policies occurs only when a parallel action is filed in a forum to which none of the parties has ties, or when "litigants are both residents of the state in which the injunction is sought, and one resident is seeking to evade the law of the common domicile in order to gain an inequitable advantage over the other."34 Thus, because the employment agreement that Stultz signed with Medtronic stated that it would be construed according to the laws of the state in which Stultz was last employed-which, in this case, was Minnesota-Moreno stated, "I cannot conclude that Medtronic filed suit in Minnesota for the purpose of evading California public policy."35

Three Examples from Texas Courts

Although California apparently would reject the more liberal approach to issuing antisuit injunctions, courts in other states nevertheless have issued such orders in complex insurance coverage cases by focusing on the more restrictive standard, which serves to protect their jurisdiction and to prevent the evasion of important public policy. Three cases from Texas-which allows the issuance of antisuit injunctions but only rarely and under extremely circumscribed conditions36-are instructive.

In Forum Insurance Company v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company,37 Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Medical Engineering Corporation (MEC) filed an insurance coverage lawsuit in Texas against "numerous insurance companies" seeking insurance coverage for toxic tort liabilities, particularly those involving breast implants. Following the filing of the coverage action, "all matters were voluntarily stayed by consent of all parties…in an effort to facilitate settlement."38 Certain insurance company defendants filed a separate declaratory judgment action in New York state court while the stay remained in effect. Following various proceedings in New York that ultimately permitted the New York litigation to proceed, the policyholders sought, and obtained, an antisuit injunction "to prohibit the insurance companies from proceeding with the New York lawsuit, or filing other duplicate lawsuits."39

A Texas court of appeals affirmed the issuance of the antisuit injunction against the insurance companies. While the appellate court noted that principles of comity require "that courts exercise the power to enjoin foreign suits 'sparingly' and only in very special circumstances," the court stated that the Texas and New York lawsuits involved the same "core issue"-the rights of BMS and MEC to insurance coverage for "multiple breast implant claims from multiple insurance companies."40 Consequently, an antisuit injunction was appropriate to halt the threat to the Texas court's jurisdiction over the insurance coverage issues between BMS and MEC and the insurance company defendants.41

In rejecting the insurance company defendants' assertion that the antisuit injunction was an "end run" around the jurisdiction of the New York courts-in this instance New York's highest tribunal, which was poised to consider an appeal of the reversal of a stay issued in the New York coverage action-a Texas court of appeals placed the blame squarely on the insurers for filing parallel litigation in New York in the first instance: "From our perspective, colloquially speaking, the 'end run' if any, was made by these ten defendant insurance companies being subject to Texas Court jurisdiction, filing a like suit in the State of New York."42

A Texas court of appeals addressed a similar New York end run by the London Market Insurers (Lloyd's) in London Market Insurers v. American Home Assurance Company, which involved an insurance coverage lawsuit that Asarco, Inc. originally filed in Texas concerning its premises asbestos liabilities.43 Six months after Asarco filed its Texas lawsuit, Lloyd's filed suit in New York "to determine insurance coverage for products liability claims allegedly resulting from exposure to products" that Asarco and related entities "introduced into the stream of commerce."44 One month after the New York action was filed, Asarco amended its Texas lawsuit to add the additional entities sued by Lloyd's in New York and to seek an additional "declaratory judgment to determine insurance coverage for alleged asbestos injuries caused by asserted exposure to asbestos fiber or asbestos-containing materials" in products sold by the entities that Lloyd's sued in the New York lawsuit.45 Asarco referred to these new claims as "products claims."46 Four months later, the Texas trial court issued an antisuit injunction enjoining Lloyd's from filing or pursuing coverage litigation in any jurisdiction "that would raise the same issues" as those in the Texas lawsuit.47 A Texas court of appeals affirmed.

Although the appellate court applied the four-part test later referred to by Moreno in Advanced Bionics, it focused most of its attention on the threat to the Texas court's jurisdiction posed by Lloyd's parallel New York lawsuit. In particular, Lloyd's argued that its New York lawsuit did not threaten the jurisdiction of the Texas court because "the action before the Texas court was limited to premises liability coverage claims at the time the New York suit was filed [and] the New York action…involved only products liability coverage…."48 According to Lloyd's, the new asbestos products claims appearing for the first time in Asarco's amended petition did not "relate back" to the original pleading because they did "not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence as the premises claims."49 The appellate court rejected these arguments, finding that they were far too narrowly framed:

[Asarco's] action sought declaratory judgment regarding this larger issue of coverage under the policies for asbestos-related bodily injury claims. The amended petition sought the same relief. The premises claims arose from alleged exposure to asbestos at Asarco, Inc.'s facilities, and the products claims arose from alleged exposure to asbestos for which appellees were alleged to be legally responsible. In Texas, appellees sought a judicial determination of their rights to indemnification and defense under the policies at issue. In both the original petition and the amended petition, appellees asked the Texas court to determine liability provisions of the same insurance policies, liability provisions relating to alleged injuries resulting from asbestos exposure. The coverage at issue was for asbestos-related claims regardless of how they were pled, as asbestos products claims or asbestos premises claims.50

Consequently, the Texas court of appeals held that "the Texas court's jurisdiction was threatened by the New York action involving insurance coverage under the same policies."51 Indeed, the court concluded, "The generic basis of both the Texas declaratory judgment action and the New York action involved the question of insurance coverage."52 On this basis alone, the appellate court held that all of the coverage issues "were brought" by Asarco's original lawsuit, the product claims "were brought in by virtue of the relation-back doctrine" and, as such, "the Texas court obtained original jurisdiction over the entire coverage dispute."53

Similarly, in American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company v. Triton Energy Ltd.,54 the policyholder sued its insurance companies in Texas state court seeking coverage for a malicious prosecution lawsuit in California, including punitive damages. One of the insurance companies thereafter sued the policyholder in California in an attempt to take advantage of the state's prohibition of the indemnification of punitive damage awards.55 The Texas trial court's antisuit injunction against the insurance company was affirmed on appeal because, among other reasons, the insurance company sought to evade an important Texas public policy by filing suit in California, and the parallel litigation threatened the Texas court's jurisdiction over the dispute.

First, the Triton appellate court noted that the insurance company's policy contained a "service of suit" clause under which the insurance company agreed to submit to the policyholder's chosen forum and "abide by the final decision of such court or of any appellate court in the event of an appeal."56 Although the court noted that the provision did not bar the insurance company from filing its own action, or even removing to federal court an action filed by the policyholder, it nevertheless agreed with the trial court that the "terms of the insurance policy were that the insured could file suit in the jurisdiction of its choice, and the insurer agreed to abide by the final decision of that court."57 The insurance company's initiation of parallel litigation, after the policyholder first filed in Texas, thus evaded an important Texas public policy of requiring insurance companies to honor their contractual obligations.58

Second, the appellate court agreed that the later-filed action in California threatened the Texas trial court's jurisdiction because it would enable the parties to "'cherry pick' favorable rulings from each court as the litigation progressed, hindering the ability of each to proceed to judgment in its own case."59 The trial court's concern, in issuing the antisuit injunction, therefore was not that Texas and California would flout each other's rulings in violation of comity principles, but that the ultimate resolution of the lawsuits would be difficult to achieve and that the insurance company attempted to evade its "service of suit" agreement to litigate the dispute in the forum chosen first by its policyholder. This was sufficient to constitute the requisite threat to the Texas court's jurisdiction to justify the issuance of an antisuit injunction. Indeed, an actual deprivation of the Texas court's jurisdiction was not required.60

Implications for California

Assuming that California would adopt a restrictive approach to antisuit injunctions, as suggested by Moreno, the rationale behind the three Texas decisions is instructive regarding the use of the procedure by any California trial court. Although the Texas cases ostensibly considered the entire four-part Texas test quoted in Advanced Bionics-including the prevention of a multiplicity of suits and the need to obviate vexatious and harassing litigation-the courts' discussions of the threat to the trial court's jurisdiction and the evasion of important public policy posed by the insurance companies' later-filed lawsuits were far more important to the decisions. Similarly, Moreno would only permit the issuance of an antisuit injunction for the two reasons underpinning the Texas decisions.61

As presented in the three Texas cases, these two factors are implicated when a policyholder's coverage lawsuit is met with parallel litigation initiated by its insurers in a foreign jurisdiction. Particularly when insurance coverage is sought for mass torts, such as in the Forum and London Market Insurers cases, the filing of the initial action establishes that court's jurisdiction over the parties' comprehensive dispute. Whether the insurance companies plead their later-filed lawsuit as involving premises claims instead of products claims, toxic tort liabilities instead of products liabilities, or any other imaginable semantical variation of the policyholder's initial lawsuit, the fact remains that the later-filed action likely would seek rulings under the same insurance policies issued by the same insurance companies to the same policyholders concerning the same basic liabilities placed at issue in the initial action. As the London Market Insurers court recognized, parallel insurance coverage lawsuits "generically" involve questions of "insurance coverage."62 Thus, it is not difficult to imagine that a later-filed insurance coverage action invariably is intended to circumvent, and ultimately oust, the initial court's jurisdiction over the parties' dispute.63

The Triton court's discussion of the "service of suit" clause is also significant. Similar "service of suit" provisions appear in every insurance policy issued by Lloyd's and typically appear in insurance policies issued by insurance companies that are not licensed-and thus do not necessarily "do business"-in the state in which the policyholder principally operates, is headquartered, or has substantial operations.

Although insurance companies invariably argue that the "service of suit" clause is not a "forum selection" clause and does not preclude the insurer from filing its own lawsuits in the forum of its choosing, the Triton court held that the provision meant that "the insured could file suit in the jurisdiction of its choice, and the insurer agreed to abide by the final decision of that court."64 Or, in other words, once a policyholder whose policies contain a "service of suit" clause files the initial lawsuit in the forum of its choice, the provision should prohibit the insurance company from initiating parallel litigation elsewhere. Indeed, in reversing a trial court's dismissal of an insurance coverage lawsuit for forum non conveniens, the Second District Court of Appeal noted that the "service of suit" clause favored maintenance of a lawsuit in the policyholder's forum of choice: "Many of the insurance policies involved in this case, issued by defendants INA, Lloyd's, Lexington, Northbrook and Stonewall, contain a 'service of suit' clause....When a policy contains such a clause, the parties' convenience also weighs 'in favor of suit in the forum chosen by the plaintiff.'"65

This is particularly important for purposes of an antisuit injunction. As the Triton court recognized, when jurisdiction is established over an insurance company that agreed to service of suit in the forum of the policyholder's choice, that insurance company's attempt subsequently to resort to the courts of another state is a direct assault on the jurisdiction of the initial court.

Finally, the Advanced Bionics litigation involved three parties and the interpretation of a noncompetition provision in a single employment contract. By contrast, insurance coverage litigation often involves dozens of parties, hundreds of different insurance contracts, and insurance coverage worth hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more. The many insurance policies at issue can contain different language and sometimes bear overlapping or nonconcurrent effective dates. The simultaneous litigation of parallel lawsuits under these circumstances does not merely threaten to result in inconsistent rulings-which, according to Chin in his opinion for the court in Advanced Bionics, was an insufficient justification for the issuance of an antisuit injunction66-but instead threatens to unleash the type of irreconcilable conflicts and serial cherry picking of favorable rulings that the Triton court thought would hinder the ability of either of the two trial courts handling the parallel litigation in Triton "to proceed in judgment in its own case."67 The Triton court therefore agreed that this possibility-albeit coupled with the "service of suit" provisions in the insurance company's policy-threatened the jurisdiction of the Texas court in which the dispute was first filed.

Although the trial court's issuance of an antisuit injunction was reversed by the California Supreme Court in Advanced Bionics, and the court indicated that such relief should only be granted in exceptional circumstances, the court's analysis, and that of Justice Moreno, suggest that California courts may issue antisuit injunctions in complex, multiparty insurance coverage litigation initiated by policyholders in California. The antisuit injunction therefore could prove to be a powerful weapon for policyholders to employ-in addition to the more traditional, but inherently unpredictable, motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens-in seeking the early disposition of parallel litigation subsequently initiated by their insurance companies in less friendly jurisdictions.68 n

 

 
 
1 Advanced Bionics Corp. v. Medtronic, Inc., 29 Cal. 4th 697, 709 (2003), modified (Mar. 5, 2003) (Brown, J., concurring op.).
2 Armstrong World Indus., Inc. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 45 Cal. App. 4th 1 (1996). In Armstrong, the court held that the "continuous trigger" of coverage applied to asbestos bodily injury lawsuits. This means that coverage exists under all of the insured's policies in effect between the claimant's initial exposure to asbestos through manifestation of disease or death. Id. at 43-45, 48. Additionally, the court held that the insured was entitled to obtain complete defense and indemnification from one, or more, of its insurers, with equitable apportionment between the insurers after the policyholder was defended and indemnified in full. Id. at 48-55.
3 Id. at 55-57.
4 Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235 (1981).
5 Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert, 330 U.S. 501, 508-09 (1947).
6 Allan R. Stein, Forum Non Conveniens and the Redundancy of Court-Access Doctrine, 133 U. Pa. L. Rev. 781, 785 n.16 (1985).
7 David W. Robertson, Forum Non Conveniens in America and England: "A Rather Fantastic Fiction," 103 Law Q. Rev. 398, 415 n.5 (1987).
8 Alan Reed, To Be or Not to Be: The Forum Non Conveniens Performance Acted Out on Anglo-American Courtroom Stages, 29 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 31, 105 (Fall 2000).
9 American Dredging Co. v. Miller, 510 U.S. 443, 455 (1994).
10 John Ray Phillips, A Proposed Solution to the Puzzle of Antisuit Injunctions, 69 U. Chi. L. Rev. 2007, 2009 (Fall 2002).
11 Id. at 2010.
12 Choice of law principles adopted by the California Supreme Court reflect its own bias in favor of applying California law in California courts. See Washington Mut. Bank, FA v. Superior Court, 24 Cal. 4th 906, 919 (2001).
13 Antisuit injunctions, however, are not available in two instances. First, a state court may not enjoin parties from prosecuting actions in federal court. Donovan v. City of Dallas, 377 U.S. 408, 412-13 (1964) ("[S]tate courts are completely without power to restrain federal-court proceedings in in personam actions…."). Second, the federal Anti-Injunction Act prohibits federal courts from preventing parties from proceeding in state courts unless there is specific congressional authorization to do so. 28 U.S.C. §2283. Federal bankruptcy courts have been given this express power under the Bankruptcy Code. See also Chris Heikaus Weaver, Binding the World: Full Faith & Credit of State Court Antisuit Injunctions, 36 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 993, 997-98 (Apr. 2003).
14 Advanced Bionics Corp. v. Medtronic, Inc., 29 Cal. 4th 697 (2003), modified (Mar. 5, 2003).
15 Id. at 700.
16 Id. at 700-01.
17 Id. at 701. Business and Professions Code §16600 states, in pertinent part, that "every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void." Stultz and Advanced Bionics later amended their complaint to assert a claim that Medtronic violated Business and Professions Code §§17200 et seq., which define "unlawful competition" to include "any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice." Advanced Bionics, 29 Cal. 4th at 701 n.2.
18 Advanced Bionics, 29 Cal. 4th at 701-02.
19 Id. at 702-03.
20 Id. at 703-04.
21 Id. at 704 (quoting Spreckels v. Hawaiian Com. & Sugar Co., 117 Cal. 377, 378 (1897)).
22 Id. at 705.
23 Id. at 708.
24 Id.
25 Id. Justice Brown, writing separately, stated that "the majority has not sufficiently explained its reasons for deferring to principles of comity in this case, and therefore its opinion gives insufficient guidance to lower courts." Id. (Brown, J., concurring op.).
26 Id. at 711 (Moreno, J., concurring op.).
27 Id. (quoting Christensen v. Integrity Ins. Co., 719 S.W. 2d 161, 163 (Tex. 1986)).
28 Id. (quoting Golden Rule Ins. Co. v. Harper, 925 S.W. 2d 649, 651 (Tex. 1996)).
29 Id. at 714 (citing Laker Airways v. Sabena Belgian Airlines, 731 F. 2d 909, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1984)).
30 Id.
31 Id. at 716.
32 Id. at 715-16.
33 Id. at 716 (quoting Laker Airways, 731 F. 2d at 931).
34 Id. at 717.
35 Id. at 718.
36 Id. at 711 (quoting Christensen v. Integrity Ins. Co., 719 S.W. 2d 161, 163 (Tex. 1986)).
37 Forum Ins. Co. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 929 S.W. 2d 114 (Tex. App. 1996).
38 Id. at 115.
39 Id.
40 Id. at 117, 118.
41 Id. at 119-20.
42 Id. at 120.
43 London Market Insurers v. American Home Assur. Co., 95 S.W. 3d 702 (Tex. App. 2003).
44 Id. at 704-05.
45 Id. at 705.
46 Id.
47 Id.
48 Id. at 706.
49 Id. at 706-07.
50 Id. at 707.
51 Id.
52 Id.
53 Id. at 707-08 (emphasis added). The "relation back" doctrine is applied similarly in California and will deem a later filing to "relate back" to an earlier filing based on the "factual similarity" of ostensibly different claims. Dudley v. Department of Transp., 90 Cal. App. 4th 255, 265 (2001).
54 American Int'l Specialty Lines Ins. Co. v. Triton Energy Ltd., 52 S.W. 3d 337 (Tex. App. 2001).
55 Id. at 339, 341-42.
56 Id. at 340.
57 Id. at 341.
58 Id.
59 Id. at 342.
60 Id.
61 Advanced Bionics Corp. v. Medtronic, Inc., 29 Cal. 4th 697, 714 (2003), modified (Mar. 5, 2003) (quoting Laker Airways v. Sabena Belgian Airlines, 731 F. 2d 909, 931 (D.C. Cir. 1984)) (Moreno, J., concurring op.).
62 London Market Insurers v. American Home Assur. Co., 95 S.W. 3d 702, 707 (2003).
63 See Forum Ins. Co. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 929 S.W. 2d. 114, 120 (1996).
64 Triton, 52 S.W. 3d at 341.
65 Ford Motor Co. v. Insurance Co. of N. Am., 35 Cal. App. 4th 604, 611 (1995).
66 Advanced Bionics, 29 Cal. 4th at 706.
67 Triton, 52 S.W. 3d at 342.
68 Antisuit injunctions are not only available to policyholders. See First State Ins. Co. v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 535 N.W. 2d 684 (Minn. App. 1995). In First State, the insurers obtained an antisuit injunction in Minnesota enjoining their policyholder from prosecuting a later-filed, parallel coverage action in Texas.

 

 
 
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