951 F.2d 102 (6th Cir. 1991), 91-3371, Market/Media Research, Inc. v. Union Tribune Pub. Co.

Docket Nº:91-3371.
Citation:951 F.2d 102
Party Name:MARKET/MEDIA RESEARCH, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNION-TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY and Copley Press, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:December 13, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Page 102

951 F.2d 102 (6th Cir. 1991)

MARKET/MEDIA RESEARCH, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,




No. 91-3371.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

December 13, 1991

Argued Nov. 5, 1991.

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc

Denied Feb. 11, 1992.

Owen C. Neff (argued and briefed), Snyder, Neff & Chamberlin, Cleveland, Ohio, for plaintiff-appellant.

Page 103

Beth Whitmore (argued and briefed), Arter & Hadden, Cleveland, Ohio, for defendants-appellees.

Before GUY, Circuit Judge, BROWN, Senior Circuit Judge, and CHURCHILL, Senior District Judge. [*]

BAILEY BROWN, Senior Circuit Judge.

This is a diversity action for breach of contract, fraud, conversion, and related torts. Plaintiff, Market/Media Research, Inc. ("MMR"), appeals from an order of dismissal for lack of in personam jurisdiction over Union-Tribune Publishing Co. ("Union") and Copley Press, Inc. ("Copley"). MMR also appeals the denial of its motion for reconsideration and leave to file an amended complaint. Because the Ohio district court did not err in its determination that due process requirements preclude the assertion of in personam jurisdiction over the Defendants and because the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the post-order motion, we AFFIRM.


Plaintiff, MMR, an Ohio corporation located in Cleveland, is a marketing and management consulting firm that performs market research for retailers and newspapers. Defendants, Copley and Union, are, respectively, an Illinois corporation and one of its unincorporated operating divisions. The principal place of business of Copley, an interstate publishing conglomerate, is in La Jolla, California. Union publishes two daily newspapers in San Diego, California.

MMR's marketing services consist of surveying local households, performing a market analysis, and, based on its findings, generating a report that informs retailers of effective marketing and advertising strategies. After discussions with Robert Rhodes, president and sole shareholder of MMR, the Newspaper Advertising Bureau ("NAB") agreed to collaborate with MMR to promote a series of demonstration projects for major retailers. The projects were to be funded by local newspaper publishers. MMR and NAB selected the J.C. Penney Company ("Penney") as the retailer for whom to develop the first project, and Penney's Western Regional Marketing Director, Larry Walker, selected San Diego, California, as the site.

Walker discussed the project with Gerry Wilson, the marketing director for Union. Rhodes then telephoned Wilson to explain the details. Approximately one year after this initial contact, and at Rhodes' request, Wilson sent to Rhodes in Ohio reports of Union's current demographic research, and Rhodes sent Wilson a ten-page proposal and a detailed description of the Penney demonstration project.

The parties exchanged a series of telephone calls and correspondence, and Union expressed some interest in financing the project. Subsequently, MMR drafted a services agreement, but neither Copley nor Union ever executed it. MMR maintains, however, that Union orally promised to pay for a research study of San Diego County if Penney accepted the proposal and the newspapers deemed the project to be potentially profitable. MMR points to twenty-two contacts between MMR and Defendants, nine of which Union or Copley executives initiated. All contacts between the Defendants and MMR, however, were by telephone or mail, and the parties agree that Union and Copley do not generally engage in activities in Ohio.

MMR alleges that it obtained from Penney an initial commitment for $300,000.00 in additional advertising with Union. Thereafter, alleges MMR, it began to perform the services as set out in the services agreement. When MMR...

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