181 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 1999), 98-9191, J.B. Harris, Inc. v. Razei Bar Industries, Ltd.

Docket Nº:98-9191.
Citation:181 F.3d 82
Party Name:J.B. HARRIS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. RAZEI BAR INDUSTRIES, LTD.; Dr. Madeline Mumcuoglu; Dr. Kostas Mumcuoglu; Ofer Amit, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:May 04, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 82

181 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 1999)

J.B. HARRIS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

RAZEI BAR INDUSTRIES, LTD.; Dr. Madeline Mumcuoglu; Dr. Kostas Mumcuoglu; Ofer Amit, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 98-9191.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

May 4, 1999

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA2 s 0.23 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Hurley, Judge.

David Schnall, New Hyde Park, NY, Anne F. Pizzo, on the brief, for Appellant.

Richard Dannay, New York, NY, Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C., on the brief, for Appellees.

Present VAN GRAAFEILAND, JACOBS, and STRAUB, Circuit Judges.

UPON DUE CONSIDERATION, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the judgment of the district court be AFFIRMED.

J.B. Harris, Inc. appeals from the August 10, 1998 judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissing its lawsuit for improper venue pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3). J.B. Harris sought recission of its distribution agreement with the defendants--Razei Bar Industries, Ltd. and its officers--as well as restitution and exemplary damages for alleged injuries arising out of J.B. Harris's performance of that agreement. The district court found that J.B. Harris was precluded from bringing this action because a forum selection clause within the distribution agreement provides that "any dispute concerning this Agreement or deriving therefrom shall be" arbitrated in Israel by an arbitrator "to be appointed by the Chairman of the Bar Association in Jerusalem or by the Jerusalem District Court." Razei Bar had already commenced arbitration proceedings against J.B. Harris in Israel, and J.B. Harris was summoned to that arbitration by letter dated August 14, 1997.

For reasons of international commerce, comity, and general principles of contract law, forum selection clauses are presumptively valid. See Roby v. Corporation of Lloyd's, 996 F.2d 1353, 1362-63 (2d Cir.1993) (citing Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585, 593-94, 111 S.Ct. 1522, 1527, 113 L.Ed.2d 622 (1991); Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth, 473 U.S. 614, 629, 105 S.Ct. 3346, 3355, 87 L.Ed.2d 444 (1985); The Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., 407 U.S. 1...

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