The first footnote in a Ninth Circuit opinion today tells why Vivendi's lawyers must love their client.
The French corporation . . . also has initiated litigation and arbitration proceedings in Poland, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom related to this same alleged fraud.
Vivendi, S.A. v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 08-35561, slip op. at 14770 n.1 (9th Cir. Nov. 2, 2009).
Vivendi alleged that Deutsche Telekom, its U.S. and German T-Mobile offspring, and Polish billionaire Zygmunt Solorz-Zak conspired to wrest a Polish wireless telephone company, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, from Vivendi's grasp. Vivendi filed the suit under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and common law fraud — in the Western District of Washington, home of the Seattle Seahawks, who've gone 2-4 so far this season and lost yesterday to the Cardinals 27-3.
Why would a French telecom giant sue its German rival about who owned a Polish wireless operation in a place that calls itself the Rain City? The district court couldn't figure out the answer either. Nor could the Ninth Circuit. Both ruled that the case belonged in Europe, specifically the Poland part.