Texas contacts “integral” to legal malpractice claim, but not a basis for jurisdiction over it

An insurance company complained that its counsel allowed entry of a consent judgment in a Louisiana case that wrongly imposed $400,000 in liability on it that another insurer should have covered. The company, based in South Carolina, sued for legal malpractice in Texas, the location of the third-party administrator who had overseen the counsel. Companion Property & Casualty v. Palermo, No. 12-11255 (July 17, 2013).  The Fifth Circuit found that the firm’s relationship with the TPA was not enough to establish general jurisdiction, and also found no basis for personal jurisdiction in Texas over the Louisiana-based firm.  The counsel was in Louisiana, the alleged malpractice occurred in Louisiana, and the insured was in South Carolina: “Although [the firm’s] contacts with [the TPA] are factually related – and perhaps integral – to the substance of [Plaintiff’s] claim, the alleged malpractice does not arise from a breach of some duty owed to [the TPA].”

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