Janson et al v. LegalZoom.com, Inc.

Filing 31

MOTION for reconsideration re 29 Order on Motion to Dismiss Case,,,, or, in the Alternative, MOTION to change venue filed by James T. Wicks on behalf of LegalZoom.com, Inc.. Suggestions in opposition/response due by 7/6/2010 unless otherwise directed by the court. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Declaration of Edward R. Hartman, # 2 Exhibit Declaration of Robert M. Thompson)(Related document(s) 29 ) (Wicks, James)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI CENTRAL DIVISION TODD JANSON, GERALD T. ARDREY, CHAD M. FERRELL, and C & J REMODELING LLC, on behalf of themselves and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, Case No. 2:10-cv-04018-NKL v. LEGALZOOM.COM, INC., Defendant. DEFENDANT LEGALZOOM'S MOTION TO RECONSIDER OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO TRANSFER VENUE Defendant LegalZoom.com, Inc. ("LegalZoom") hereby respectfully moves the Court to reconsider its Order issued June 1, 2010, denying LegalZoom's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Petition without prejudice for improper venue pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In the alternative, LegalZoom moves the Court to transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Central District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). 1. On February 26, 2010, LegalZoom moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' Petition under Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. LegalZoom moved on the grounds that, under the forum selection clause to which Plaintiffs assented in purchasing documents on the LegalZoom website, exclusive venue lies in courts situated in the city of Los Angeles, California. 2. The forum selection clause to which Plaintiffs assented provides for venue in the state or federal courts in Los Angeles, California. LegalZoom moved to dismiss under Rule 1 C072748/0306506/1001989.1 12(b)(3) rather than to transfer under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) because transfer to a state court is unavailable under section 1404(a). 3. In supporting briefing on its Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue, LegalZoom demonstrated that the forum selection clause to which Plaintiffs assented was binding on Plaintiffs. LegalZoom also showed that the clause is enforceable because it is reasonable and does not contravene a public policy of the State of Missouri; because Plaintiffs' assent to the clause was not obtained by fraud, undue influence, or unequal bargaining power; and because any inconvenience to Plaintiffs in litigating in Los Angeles was foreseeable at the time they entered into their contracts with LegalZoom. 4. Accordingly, in order to preserve Plaintiffs' right to bring their claims in the California state courts sitting in the city of Los Angeles, LegalZoom respectfully requests that the Court reconsider its previous Order and dismiss this action without prejudice to refiling the action in a state or federal court sitting in the city of Los Angeles, California. 5. The Court's June 1, 2001 Order also authorized LegalZoom to file a motion to transfer venue to the Central District of California no later than June 16, 2010. LegalZoom therefore moves the Court, in the alternative, to transfer venue in this case to the United States District Court for the Central District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). 6. Section 1404(a) provides that "[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought." 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). Because LegalZoom is the only defendant in this case and resides in the Central District of California, where its officers direct, control, and coordinate its activities, this case might have been brought in the Central District of California. 2 C072748/0306506/1001989.1 7. Transfer to the Central District of California would serve the convenience of the parties and the convenience of witnesses. Transfer to the Central District of California is also in the interests of justice. 8. Accordingly, therefore, in the alternative to dismissal without prejudice to refiling in a state or federal court sitting in Los Angeles, this Court should transfer venue to the Central District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). WHEREFORE, Defendant LegalZoom respectfully moves the court to reconsider its Order denying LegalZoom's motion to dismiss and to grant LegalZoom's motion, dismissing Plaintiffs' action without prejudice to refiling the action in a state or federal court sitting in the city of Los Angeles, California. In the alternative, LegalZoom requests the Court to transfer this action to the Central District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a). Dated: June 16, 2010 Respectfully submitted, BRYAN CAVE LLP By: s/ James T. Wicks Robert M. Thompson MO #38156 James T. Wicks MO #60409 One Kansas City Place 1200 Main Street, Suite 3500 Kansas City, MO 64105 Tel.: (816) 374-3200 Fax: (816) 374-3300 John Michael Clear MO #25834 Michael G. Biggers MO #24694 James R. Wyrsch MO #53197 One Metropolitan Square Suite 3600 211 North Broadway St. Louis, MO 63102 Tel.: (314) 259-2000 Fax: (314) 259-2020 Attorneys for LegalZoom.com, Inc. 3 C072748/0306506/1001989.1 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on June 16, 2010, the foregoing was electronically filed with the Clerk of Court and served by operation of the Court's electronic filing system upon all counsel of record. Timothy Van Ronzelen Matthew A. Clement Kari A. Schulte COOK, VETTER, DOERHOFF & LANDWEHR, PC 231 Madison Jefferson City, MO 65101 tvanronzelen@cvdl.net mclement@cvdl.net kschulte@cvdl.net David T. Butsch James J. Simeri Mathew R. Fields BUTSCH SIMERI FIELDS LLC 231 South Bemiston Ave., Suite 260 Clayton, MO 63105 butsch@bsflawfirm.com simeri@bsflawfirm.com fields@bsflawfirm.com Edward D. Robertson, Jr. Mary Doerhoff Winter BARTIMUS, FRICKLETON, ROBERTSON & GORNY 715 Swifts Highway Jefferson City, MO 65109 chiprob@earthlink.net marywinter@earthlink.net Randall O. Barnes RANDALL O. BARNES & ASSOCIATES 219 East Dunklin Street, Suite A. Jefferson City, MO 65101 rbarnesjclaw@aol.com Steven E. Dyer 10805 Sunset Office Drive, Suite 300 St. Louis, MO 63127 jdcpamba@gmail.com s/ James T. Wicks 4 C072748/0306506/1001989.1

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