Adelson v. Hananel, No. 09-2231 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a resident of Nevada, negotiated an oral contract with defendant, a citizen and resident of Israel. Defendant worked for one of plaintiff's companies, a Delaware corporation with offices in Massachusetts and Israel, from 1996-2000 and claimed that the agreement entitled him to a 12 percent investment in plaintiff's casino venture. Plaintiff claimed that defendant was entitled to 12 percent of net from high-tech sector investments recommended by defendant and filed a declaratory judgment action. On remand after reversal of dismissal for forum non conveniens, the district court ruled in favor of plaintiff. The First Circuit affirmed, first holding that defendant's contacts with Massachusetts were sufficient for jurisdiction. The district court properly placed the burden of proof on defendant, the natural plaintiff who would have had the burden of proving his affirmative claim to the 12 percent option in a damages action; the burden of proof was, nonetheless, not dispositive. The record supported the finding that there was no meeting of minds on the option.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 16, 2011.