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In re AutoNation, Inc – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In In re AutoNation, Inc., 228 S.W.3d 663, 668 (Tex. 2007), the supreme court's most recent pronouncement on forum-selection clauses, the court faced an argument that enforcement of a forum-selection clause in a covenant not to compete, selecting an out-of-state forum for a suit against a Texas resident, would violate Texas public policy. In re Autonation, Inc., 228 S.W.3d at 668.

The court rejected the argument. Id. at 668-69.

The primary reason for its decision was that neither Texas courts nor the Texas Legislature had ever declared a fundamental Texas policy requiring every employment dispute with a Texas resident be litigated in Texas:

"We recognized in AIU that even where Texas statutory provisions specify the application of Texas law, these provisions are irrelevant to the enforceability of a forum-selection clause where no statute 'requires suit to be brought or maintained in Texas.'" Id. at 669.

In the absence of any recognized public policy, either through a judicial opinion or through a statute, the court would enforce the forum-selection agreement. Id.