Texas] or retain local counsel there, is of minor, if any, importance under § 1404(a)." Islamic Republic of Iran v. The Boeing Company, 477 F. Supp. 142, 143 (D.D.C. 1979).
While API is incorporated in the District of Columbia, API's Corporate Department, which had the responsibility for the alleged antitrust activities, is located in Dallas. Eleven of the twelve principal decision-making and immediately involved divisions and offices of that Department are located in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas, or the adjoining State of Oklahoma. Only two potential witnesses are located in this forum -- API's president and vice president, but at best, their participation and involvement is limited. Other potential and important API witnesses are located west of the Mississippi River, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma.
Both LTV and Emsco are Delaware corporations and Dallas, Texas is the principal base of business for each. LTV does maintain a corporate office in this forum and it is the parent corporation of Emsco. The two corporations are "doing business" in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas, within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1391(c). Each "transacts business" in Dallas for the purpose of establishing venue under Section 12 of the Clayton Act and each is "found" there and is amenable to service of process under the Act.
Dover, a Delaware corporation, seeks transfer under § 1406(a) "to any district or division in which it could have been brought." That appropriate division is in Dallas, Texas. Dover's headquarters and principal office is in New York City. It has no office in this jurisdiction nor is it licensed to do business here. Dover has several subdivisions and subsidiaries but none are incorporated or located here. The division which is the target of plaintiff's claim -- the Norris Division -- is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Norris Division has never made sales in and has never had a presence in the District of Columbia.
The plaintiff's argument that its choice of forum should be given great consideration overlooks a well-established and reasonable doctrine that such consideration is greatly diminished when the activities at issue have little, if any, connection with the chosen forum. In this connection, the API in response to Consolidated's discovery request, submitted a Chronology of Events.
That Chronology is very compelling and persuasive and demonstrates that the major and substantial activities about which the plaintiff complains did not occur in this forum but principally in the State of Texas.
After a fair evaluation of the records as a whole on the issue of transfer, it is clear that the interests of justice would be served by granting the defendants' request. The transferee court will have more immediate access to sources of proof, given the proximity of the important witnesses, the relevant documents, and the required discovery on the issue of liability. Beyond that, the sharply contested and unresolved issues presented by the motions to dismiss filed by all defendants save the API will not delay this proceeding.
For the reasons stated above, the defendants' motion for transfer is granted. This proceeding is hereby transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.
The Clerk of the Court is directed to transfer all papers in this proceeding together with a certified copy of this Memorandum Opinion and Order.