Jones, Et Al v. Halliburton Company et al

Filing 22

RESPONSE in Opposition re 21 MOTION to Change Venue filed by Joseph Daigle, Jamie Leigh Jones. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order # 2 Exhibit A# 3Exhibit B# 4 Exhibit C# 5 Exhibit D)(Kelly, Lannie) Modified on 6/20/2007 (bjc, ).

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Jones, Et Al v. Halliburton Company et al Doc. 22 Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 1 of 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT F O R THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (B E A U M O N T DIVISION) J A M IE LEIGH JONES and JOSEPH D A IG L E P la in t if f s , § § § § v s. § § H A L L IB U R T O N COMPANY d/b/a § K B R KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT § (KBR); KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT§ S E R V IC E S , INC.; KELLOGG § B R O W N & ROOT INTERNATIONAL,§ IN C .; KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT, § LLC; KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT, § INC.; KELLOGG BROWN & ROOT, § S . de R.L.; KELLOGG BROWN & § R O O T (KBR), INC.; KBR § T E C H N I C A L SERVICES, INC.; § O V E R S E A S ADMINISTRATIVE § S E R V IC E S , LTD.; ERIC ILER, § C H A R L E S BOARTZ; SEVERAL § J O H N DOE RAPISTS, and THE § U N IT E D STATES OF AMERICA § D efen d a n ts. § C IV IL ACTION NO. 1:07CV0295 J U R Y TRIAL DEMANDED P L A IN T IF F 'S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANTS KBR, HALLIBURTON, A N D OAS'S MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 1404 Jam ie Leigh Jones and Joseph Daigle, by counsel, file this response to the M o tio n of Defendants, KBR, Halliburton, and OAS to transfer venue. -1- Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 2 of 7 P R O C E D U R A L FACTS Im m ed iately upon learning that the defendant's motion had been filed, and w ith the belief that the motion was frivolous, plaintiffs' counsel contacted d e f en d a n t's counsel and urged them to withdraw the motion, citing her own brief a s authority for filing in the Eastern District. In response, defendant's counsel m erely forwarded a copy of the 5 th Circuit opinion in In re: E n terta in m en t, 337 F.3d 429. (Exhibit A). S T A N D A R D OF REVIEW 1. V en u e lies in the sound discretion of the District Court, and will not Horseshoe b e overturned absent an abuse of that discretion. Horseshoe Entertainment, at 429. V E N U E FACTS 2. As stated so eloquently by defendants: this case involves "claims u n d e r Title VII, for which Congress has adopted special venue provisions: Such actio n may be brought in any judicial district in the State in which the unlawful em p lo ym en t practice is alleged to have been committed . . . or . . ." Defendant's m o tio n filed in the companion case to this one: Barker v. Halliburton, et al, Case 1 :0 7 -cv -0 0 2 9 4 -T H , at 5. -2- Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 3 of 7 3. T h e Eastern District of Texas is clearly a "judicial district in the state." Therefore we need not take the analysis any further. Despite defendant's p ro testatio n s against having this Title VII matter heard in this court, the very venue p ro v isio n s cited by counsel in its motion in Barker clearly support venue in this fo ru m . 4. Defendants were not only aware of this special venue provision at the tim e they filed this motion, but these provisions were then brought to their atten tio n in an effort to avoid the unnecessary hearing on this matter ­ to no avail. Instead, they merely provided the Horseshoe Entertainment case, which only fu rth er supports the Plaintiff's choice of venue in the Eastern District. 5. Defendant's entire motion rests on the notion that this cause "could h av e been brought" in the Southern District. That is irrelevant to the analysis of w h eth er it could also have been brought in the Eastern District ­ as Plaintiffs have ch o sen to do. a. As pointed out by the Defendants, a plaintiff's choice of forum is "highly esteemed." b. As for convenience of the parties, Defendant's complain about tr av e lin g a whopping 78 miles to this courthouse (Exhibit B). Undersigned co u n sel spends nearly an hour each way per day driving to and from his -3- Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 4 of 7 o ffice, the extra few minutes on the road should not factor in to this eq u atio n . In fact, it is interesting that the 78 mile distance is within the 100 m ile radius of the subpoena power of this court, which distinguishes it from th e inconvenience the court found in Horseshoe Entertainment! Horseshoe E n terta in m en t, at 431. It is far easier to navigate Interstate 10 than the Therefore, even as to treach ero u s metropolis that is greater Houston. co n v en ien ce of the parties ­ the peaceful trek to Beaumont mitigates in favor o f the Eastern District. c. The location of the personnel records relevant to his case is o n ly relevant if we were bogged down with a 1970's type mentality ­ when actu al paper documents had to be lugged around from location to location. H o w ev er, when the entirety of Halliburton's personnel files, and certainly th o s e related to this case can be contained on a contact disc not much larger th an the credit cards in my wallet or on a flash drive the size of my little f in g e r (Exhibit C), it should not matter where these records are "m a in ta in e d ." In fact, I will voluntarily offer to transfer the records once d ig itally recorded - personally. d. The "location of counsel" is irrelevant, despite the Defendants' Even if it assertio n s to the contrary. Horseshoe Entertainment, at 434. -4- Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 5 of 7 w ere relevant, one of defendant's own counsel (in fact a signatory to the in stan t motion) offices in Beaumont, Texas ­ the situs of this court. 6. Defendants feign a concern that a trial in Beaumont would be "co n trary to the interests of justice and fundamentally unfair." What would be fu n d am en tally unfair, and contrary to the interests of justice is to have Halliburton - one of the largest employers in Houston, (Exhibit D) - to be defending itself in th e very city where it is headquartered, where it has such an enormous economic an d philanthropic presence, and where so many potential jurors are either directly o r indirectly affected by its successes and failures. It far better serves the interests o f justice to have this case heard by an impartial coalition of jurors, which can be b etter found in the Eastern District. W H E R E F O R E , Plaintiffs pray that the Defendants' KBR, Halliburton, and O A S 's Motion to Transfer Venue Under 28 U.S.C. §1404 be, in all things, denied, a n d that Defendants be ordered by pay the costs and attorneys' fees associated with resp o n d in g to this frivolous motion. Respectfully submitted, /s/ L. Todd Kelly L . Todd Kelly T HE KELLY LAW FIRM, P.C. T ex as Bar No. 24035049 O n e Riverway, Suite 1150 -5- Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 6 of 7 H o u sto n , Texas 77056 T el. (713) 255-2055 F ax . (713) 523-5939 P a u l Waldner V ICKERY, WALDNER & MALLIA, L.L.C. T ex as Bar No. 20679800 O n e Riverway, Suite 1150 H o u sto n , Texas 77056 T el. (713) 526-1100 F ax . (713) 523-5939 & Stephanie M. Morris A TTORNEY AT LAW M e m b e r of D.C. and PA. Bars 1 6 6 0 L. Street, N.W., Suite 506 W ash in g to n , D.C. 20036 T el. (202) 536-3353 F ax . (202) 463-6328 A TTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF, JAMIE JONES AND JOSEPH DAIGLE -6- Case 1:07-cv-00295-TH Document 22 Filed 06/20/2007 Page 7 of 7 C ERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that a true and correct copy of the attached document was filed electro n ically by using the CM/ECF and/or by First Class Mail on the following co u n sel of record, this 20 th day of June, 2007: S h a d o w Sloan, Esq. S ta te Bar No. 18507550 F ed era l ID No. 11372 V . Loraine Christ S ta te Bar No.: 24050417 F ed era l ID No.: 611166 V INSON & ELKINS, LLP F ir st City Tower 1 0 0 1 Fannin Street, Suite 2300 H o u sto n , Texas 77002-6760 (7 1 3 ) 758-3822 ( 7 1 3 ) 615-5933 (fax) & M EHAFFY WEBER M .C . Carrington, Of Counsel S ta te Bar No.: 03880800 P o st Office Box 16 B ea u m o n t, Texas 77704 (4 0 9 ) 835-5011 ( 4 0 9 ) 835-5177 (fax) /s/ L. Todd Kelly -7-

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