Shaheen & Gordon attorneys Steven Gordon and Benjamin Siracusa Hillman,
along with King & Spalding, LLC of Georgia, prevailed today in the
New Hampshire Supreme Court on behalf of Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd.,
a motor vehicle manufacturer, in a jurisdictional dispute. You can read
the New Hampshire Supreme Court's opinion in
Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd. v. Holloway Motor Cars of Manchester, LLC, et al.
In this case, Holloway and other dealers claimed before the New Hampshire
Motor Vehicle Industry Board that Mahindra violated distributor and franchise
agreements that they entered into with a third party, Global Vehicles,
U.S.A., for the sale of Mahindra vehicles in New Hampshire. The Board
issued notice of a pre-hearing conference, which Mahindra, based in India,
did not receive. When a notice of hearing later issued, Mahindra's
Georgia attorneys wrote a letter to the Board for the sole purpose of
raising objections, including that Mahindra was not subject to the Board's
jurisdiction, had not been properly served in accordance with the Hague
Convention, and that any dispute between Mahindra and Global Vehicles
was already subject to an international arbitration. Ultimately, the Board
issued a default judgment against Mahindra because its representatives
did not appear at the hearing. The Board refused to vacate the default,
as did the superior court, and Mahindra appealed.
Due to the advocacy of attorneys from Shaheen & Gordon and King &
Spalding, the New Hampshire Supreme Court vacated the default judgment.
The Court agreed with Mahindra that they were not served in the manner
required by the Hague Convention and had not waived that defense. With
this opinion, the Court confirms that personal jurisdiction must be obtained
through proper service of process. This decision illustrates Shaheen &
Gordon's tradition of obtaining excellent results for its clients.