Trois owned a gun collection and contracted with Apple Tree, an auction center based in Ohio. The auction did not go as well as Trois hoped, and he sued in Texas for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement. The Fifth Circuit found no personal jurisdiction over the contract claim: “The only alleged Texas contacts related to contract formation or breach are Schnaidt [Apple Tree’s principal]’s . . . conference calls negotiating the agreement while Trois was in Texas.” But as to fraud: “Although Schnaidt did not initiate the conference call to Trois in Texas, Schnaidt was not a passive participant on the call. Instead, he was the key negotiating party who made representations regarding his business in a call to Texas.” Trois v. Apple Tree Auction Center, Inc., No. 16-51414 (Feb. 5, 2018). The Court went on to find venue was also proper in Texas over the tort claim.
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