Lightfoot Attorneys Receive Favorable Ruling from Alabama Supreme Court for Client International Paper Company

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 16, 2018) — The Alabama Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC client International Paper Company on a precedent-setting procedural issue.

International Paper filed a motion to dismiss based on an unambiguous outbound forum selection agreement requiring that any case be brought in Tennessee. The company sought mandamus relief when the trial court withheld ruling on the motion to dismiss while proceeding with substantive issues in the case, including setting the case for trial.

In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the trial court exceeded its discretion when it proceeded with the substantive, merits-based issues before ruling on the motion to dismiss for improper venue. The court released its opinion on April 27, 2018.

The Lightfoot team included lead partner, Johnny Johnson, as well as partner J. Gorman Houston, of counsel Ivan B. Cooper and associate Bridget E. Harris.