asserts that he performed several functions for the defendants in the District. These functions included making trips into the District on the defendants' behalf; meeting with several individuals at the NMAA; and discussing and coordinating various details concerning the projects contemplated by the Smithsonian contract as well as other possible ventures.
The plaintiff has also submitted correspondence that illustrates an ongoing relationship between CDI Japan, Mr. Shimizu, Mr. Schwartz, and the NMAA that lasted a number of months. Correspondence between Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Shimizu illustrates that prior to sending letters or faxes to the NMAA regarding the Smithsonian contract, Mr. Shimizu would approve Mr. Schwartz's draft letters and would direct him as to what course of action to pursue. Mr. Shimizu notified Mr. Schwartz as to "a line of action which CDI Japan would like the NMAA to put into action."
Additionally. Mr. Dietz, Chief of Publication at the NMAA, directly corresponded with Mr. Schwartz. In May 1994. Mr. Schwartz wrote a letter written on behalf of CDI Japan and Mr. Tsumaki to Mr. Dietz that informed him of the formation of CDI Japan and its purpose in assuming Mr. Tsumaki's responsibilities. Mr. Dietz responded directly to Mr. Schwartz and approved CDI Japan's name, its purpose, and he discussed the project's budget and development. Furthermore, Mr. Dietz continued to correspond with Mr. Schwartz regarding the development of the CDI project. For instance, they corresponded regarding amendments to the Smithsonian contract prior to CDI Japan and Mr. Shimizu's assumption of it. An October 1994 letter from Mr. Dietz to Mr. Shimizu discussed the contract assignment and negotiations that Mr. Dietz and Mr. Schwartz were conducting with Time Warner regarding a distributing contract. Other correspondence between Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Shimizu, and Mr. Dietz includes discussions concerning a possible joint venture between the defendants, the NMAA, and other companies that would pursue the development of a compact disk product. In sum, Mr. Shimizu has provided the court with sufficient, specific factual allegations that, are in many instances, corroborated by Mr. Tsumaki. As a result, whether an agency relationship existed is a contested issue that precludes summary judgment.
C. Mr. Schwartz's Claim Arises from the Business Transacted by the Defendants in the District
Having concluded that the defendants transacted business in the District, the court must now determine if the plaintiff has sufficiently demonstrated that his claim for relief arises from the defendants' conduct in this jurisdiction. The inquiry is whether the non-resident's "conduct and connection with the forum state are such that he or she should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there." Trerotola, 601 A.2d at 64 (quoting World-wide Volkswagen v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297, 62 L. Ed. 2d 490, 100 S. Ct. 559 (1980)). CDI Japan and Mr. Shimizu's contacts with the District must have been "of such a quality and nature that they manifested a deliberate and voluntary association with the forum" and could anticipate having to litigate in the District. Mouzavires, 434 A.2d at 995.
Presently, Mr. Schwartz's claim arises from the defendants' activities in the District. Specifically, Mr. Schwartz's claim arises out of the Smithsonian contract that the defendants assumed and the rights and obligations associated with it. Centrally involved in this suit is the alleged agency relationship that existed between the plaintiff and the defendants, as a result of the parties' course of dealing and the Smithsonian contract. Moreover, the defendants' contacts with this jurisdiction makes it reasonable for them to expect to be subject to this forum's jurisdiction. See Trerotola, 601 A.2d at 64. The court thus concludes that section 13-423(a)(1) authorizes jurisdiction and that the exercise of jurisdiction is constitutionally permissible and otherwise appropriate under the circumstances surrounding this case.
Accordingly, it is this 21 day of June 1996,
ORDERED that the defendants' motion to dismiss be and is hereby DENIED.
Ricardo M. Urbina
United States District Judge