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manager. In response, Hatfield alleged that, at the 2005 meeting, he was given a binder,
but he did not take or copy the binder. Hatfield also claimed that, since leaving
AutoNation, he has been unemployed, he has not had any employment agreement with
another dealership, and he does not work for the other Mercedes Benz dealership
mentioned in AutoNation's amended complaint. Although the declaration is not as
detailed as the amended complaint, it appears that the trial court erred in concluding that
the declaration did not refute the allegations that Hatfield committed tortious acts within
the State of Florida. As a result, it is unclear whether the trial court attempted to
harmonize Hatfield's declaration with AutoNation's affidavits in response.
However, these errors were harmless, because the trial court proceeded to conduct a
limited evidentiary hearing on the jurisdictional issue, for which the trial court had at its
disposal Hatfield's declaration, AutoNation's affidavits, and the testimony of Puerto and
Parlapiano. It appears that AutoNation's evidence was sufficient to sustain its 242 jurisdictional allegations in the face of Hatfield's declaration. AutoNation's evidence
supports the view that Hatfield engaged in substantial and not isolated activity in Florida
by regularly communicating with AutoNation's Florida-based customer service
department to obtain customer relations support, by regularly accessing AutoNation's
Florida-based computer system to obtain information on AutoNation's business
strategies, plans, and tools, by participating in weekly conference calls and e-mails with
AutoNation's Florida-based advertising agency to plan and implement his dealership's
advertising, and by attending the annual leadership meetings in Fort Lauderdale.
AutoNation also proffered sufficient evidence to withstand a motion to dismiss on the
issue of whether Hatfield committed a tortious act in Florida by using AutoNation's
Florida-based e-mail system to forward five e-mails containing alleged proprietary and
confidential attachments to a non-AutoNation employee just five days before his
resignation became effective, and by attending the January 2005 leadership meeting
allegedly to obtain information while knowing that he did not intend to remain an
AutoNation general manager. Although this Court has held that simply communicating or
transferring documents to or within Florida with respect to transactions in another state
does not impose...
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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