Firm News

Paige Pace Allen Obtains a Dismissal of a Multi-Jurisdictional Collection Action Through a Successful Special Appearance Based on the Best Evidence Rule

A Dallas-based company sued a TALG client, a London doctor, in Dallas state court for collection on an alleged promissory note to pay significant medical expenses incurred in connection with a scuba diving incident in Cozumel in which the diver, the London doctor’s son, was in a coma for two days. The alleged note called for the London doctor to guarantee the costs for medical services with a forum clause calling for suit to be filed in Dallas County, Texas. The London doctor claimed that he never signed the note. The plaintiff relied on a copy of the note, which the London doctor contended was a forgery.

In response to the Special Appearance attacking personal jurisdiction over the London doctor in Texas, the plaintiff sought to admit affidavit testimony of someone who claimed that he witnessed the London doctor’s execution of the alleged promissory note. In discovery, Allen sought production of the original note, however, the plaintiff never produced it.

Allen objected to the proffered copy of the note based on the Best Evidence Rule, arguing that the best evidence of whether the London doctor executed the note would be the original of the note that was never produced by the plaintiff. Dallas County District Judge Tanya Parker sustained the objection based on the Best Evidence Rule, granted Dr. Karmali’s Special Appearance and dismissed the case.