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Memorandum & Order - motion to dismiss denied - Rudovsky v. West Publishing

Memorandum & Order - motion to dismiss denied - Rudovsky v. West Publishing

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Published by evwayne
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT DEFENDANTS MOTION TO DISMISS WILL BE DENIED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOHN P. FULLAM ON 6/4/09. 6/5/09 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED, E-MAILED.(jl, ) (Entered: 06/05/2009)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT DEFENDANTS MOTION TO DISMISS WILL BE DENIED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOHN P. FULLAM ON 6/4/09. 6/5/09 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED, E-MAILED.(jl, ) (Entered: 06/05/2009)

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Published by: evwayne on Jun 10, 2009
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06/16/2009

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIADAVID RUDOVSKY and : CIVIL ACTIONLEONARD SOSNOV ::v. ::WEST PUBLISHING CORPORATION, :WEST SERVICES INC., and :THOMSON LEGAL AND REGULATORY :INC. t/a THOMSON WEST :NO. 09-cv-00727-JFMEMORANDUMFullam, Sr. J.June 4, 2009Plaintiffs are two law professors; the defendants,together, constitute an entity which publishes law books. In1987, plaintiffs authored, and defendants published, a two-volumetreatise on Pennsylvania criminal procedure. Plaintiffsprovided, and defendants published, annual updates (“pocketparts”).In 2001, plaintiffs authored, and defendants published,a second edition of the publication. Plaintiffs provided pocketparts thereafter on an annual basis. In 2007, the partiesentered into a separate, stand-alone agreement covering the 2007-2008 pocket part.In 2008, however, the parties were unable to come toterms on the compensation to be paid plaintiffs for thesubsequent pocket parts. Thereupon, defendants proceeded toprepare, with their own staff, what purported to be a 2008-2009pocket part, but listed plaintiffs as the authors (along with“the publisher’s staff”). Plaintiffs were not notified in
 
advance that this would occur, and had no part in the preparationof the pocket part. Plaintiffs contend that the pocket part inquestion is, in effect, merely a reprint of the pocket part forthe previous year, and does not reflect changes which hadoccurred in Pennsylvania criminal procedural law.Plaintiffs thereupon filed this action, seekingequitable relief and damages. After a hearing on plaintiffs’request for preliminary injunctive relief, I concluded that apreliminary injunction should be denied, since the harm had, as apractical matter, already occurred.Now before the Court is defendants’ motion to dismissthe action. The motion is expressly filed pursuant to Fed. R.Civ. P. 12(b)(6), it being defendants’ contention that thecomplaint fails to state valid claims against the defendants.Defendants assert two basic grounds for dismissal: (1)that venue in this District is improper, since the parties’contracts limited venue to the courts of Minnesota, and (2) thatall of plaintiffs’ claims are barred by various contractualprovisions.Contrary to defendants’ argument, I have concluded thatthe forum-selection clause is not an obstacle to venue in thisDistrict. Assuming that the 2000 Agreement relied upon bydefendants is applicable, the contract provides merely that “anylegal action arising under this Agreement will be brought in the2

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