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Unformatted text preview: Fort Lauderdale, for appellee.
GERBER, JONATHAN D., Associate Judge.
Appellant, Garrick Hatfield, appeals from an order denying his motion to dismiss for lack
of personal jurisdiction in response to an action filed by appellee, AutoNation, Inc. We
AutoNation owns and operates more than 250 vehicle dealerships in 18 states. In 2002,
Hatfield, a Texas citizen, became the general manager of one of AutoNation's Mercedes
Benz dealerships in Houston. The following year, Hatfield signed a "Confidentiality, NoSolicitation/No Hire and Non-Compete Agreement," wherein he agreed, for one year
after his employment terminated, not to become employed with a competitor anywhere
within a fifty-mile radius of the dealership at which he was employed or within a ten-mile
radius of any new or used vehicle dealership which AutoNation owned or operated
anywhere in the United States. The agreement provided that it was governed by Florida
law and that:
[A]ny action, suit or proceeding arising out of or relative to this Agreement or the
relationship of Employee and Company shall be instituted only in the state or federal
courts located in Broward County, in the state of Florida, and each party waives any
objection which such party may now or hereafter have to such venue or jurisdictional
court in any action, suit, or proceeding. 238 AutoNation sued Hatfield in Broward County, alleging that Hatfield resigned from his
employment at the Mercedes Benz dealership in January 2005 to accept immediate
employment with a soon-to-open competing Mercedes Benz dealership in League City,
Texas. AutoNation sought injunctive relief and damages under various counts.
AutoNation claimed that Hatfield was subject to personal jurisdiction in Florida because
Hatfield maintained regular and systematic contacts in Florida by traveling to Florida to
participate in AutoNation's three-day retail leadership meetings in Fort Lauderdale in
2003, 2004, and 2005. AutoNation also contended that Hatfield had "regular and frequent
interaction" with its Fort Lauderdale headquarters by requesting and receiving
information and business-related...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08