Grynberg v. Grynberg

Dallas Court of Appeals (November 28, 2017)

Justices Bridges, Fillmore, and Stoddart (Opinion here)  

A family dispute over control of a Texas corporation erupted in two lawsuits, one in Texas followed by another in Colorado, where all th resided. The Texas action was dismissed on forum-non-conveniens g and the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed.

Jack Grynberg incorporated Pricaspian in Texas in 1993 to hold and mineral-related assets. He also caused Grynberg Production Corpora his wholly-owned entity, to assign to Pricaspian the rights to his valu and gas projects in Kazakhstan. He later assigned shares in Pricaspia wife and three adult children, who became directors of the company and (according to Jack) received approximately $160 million over a twenty-year period. In 2015, the board of directors began to strip Jack authority, replaced him as president, and ultimately removed him from the board. In response, Jack and G declaratory judgment action in Texas to confirm revocation of the previous assignments of the Pricaspian Jack’s wife and children. The defendants filed a forum-non-conveniens motion to dismiss the Texas lawsui initiated a competing lawsuit in Colorado.

The parties’ affidavits and other evidence established that Pricaspian’s Texas incorporation was the lawsu connection to the state. Pricaspian’s offices, corporate records, shareholders, officers, and directors were located “within a twenty-mile radius of Denver, Colorado,” as were the relevant documents and potential Although the “internal affairs” of Pricaspian would be governed by Texas law, that is a conflict-of-laws pri a matter of subject-matter jurisdiction, so did not require adjudication by a Texas court. Plaintiffs’ choic was given little deference, since they were not Texas residents. And both the public- and private-interest factors heavily favored Colorado as the more convenient forum for resolving the dispute. The trial court t did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the Texas action.