United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
NEIL W. LEVIN, Plaintiff,
THE POSEN FOUNDATION, FELIX POSEN, and JAMES E. YOUNG, Defendants
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
For Neil W. Levin, Plaintiff: Alan Benjamin Miller, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Alan Benjamin Miller, Attorney at Law, Attorney at Law.
For The Posen Foundation, a Swiss foundation, (All Counts), Felix Posen, an individual (Count III), Defendants: Alan Behr, PRO HAC VICE, Phillips Nizer Llp, New York, NY; Brian E. Cohen, Mitchell L. Marinello, Novack and Macey LLP, Chicago, IL.
For James E. Young, an individual (Count III), Defendant: Alan Behr, Chryss V. Valletta, Michael Scott Fischman, PRO HAC VICE, Phillips Nizer Llp, New York, NY; Brian E. Cohen, Elizabeth Carlson Wolicki, Mitchell L. Marinello, Novack and Macey LLP, Chicago, IL.
OPINION AND ORDER
Joan H. Lefkow, Judge.
Plaintiff Neil W. Levin filed suit alleging breach of implied contract and copyright infringement against The Posen Foundation and common law fraud against The Posen Foundation, Felix Posen, and James E. Young. Young moved to dismiss claims against him for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Dkt. 16.) Because Young is protected by The Posen Foundation's fiduciary shield, his motion to dismiss is granted.
I. The Parties
Levin is a scholar of Jewish music who, among other things, teaches at the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America in New York City. (Dkt. 1 (" Compl." ) ¶ 4B.) He is a resident of Illinois and maintains an apartment in New York where he stays while teaching at the Seminary. (Dkt. 22, ex. 1 (" Levin Decl." ) ¶ ¶ 10-11.)
Posen is the founder and president of The Posen Foundation (" the Foundation" ), a Swiss equivalent of a not-for-profit corporation, with offices in New York. (Compl. ¶ 5.) One of its projects is The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization (" the Library" ), a ten-volume collection of Jewish literature, artwork, and artifacts selected by scholars. (Dkt. 17, ex. 1 (" Young Decl." ) ¶ 1.)
Young serves as editor-in-chief of the Library for which he receives an annual salary of $18,000. ( Id. ¶ 10.) In addition, he is a Professor of English and Judaic Studies and the Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. ( Id. ¶ 1.) Young resides in Massachusetts and has never resided or owned any real property in Illinois. ( Id ¶ 4.) He has travelled to Illinois twice in the past ten years to attend conferences unrelated to the Library or to Levin. ( Id. ) His last visit was approximately five years ago. ( Id. ) He never met with Levin in Illinois. ( Id. ¶ 7.) All of his contacts with Levin " were in furtherance of [his] role as Editor in Chief of the Posen Library and at the direction of the Posen Foundation and Felix Posen." ( Id. ¶ 6.)
II. Levin's Dealings with the Library
In November 2008, Joyce Rappaport, the executive editor of the Library, met with Levin to discuss potential music contributions to the Library. (Compl. ¶ 6.) Rappaport engaged Levin to evaluate the music that would accompany Volume X of the Library. ( Id. ) Levin met with Posen the next month and Posen asked Levin to provide further services to the Library, including evaluating the potential for a separate volume devoted solely to Jewish music, which Posen suggested Levin would edit. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 7-8.) At Posen's direction, Levin met with Young in February 2009 to discuss his contributions to the Library. ( Id. ¶ 13.) Over the next two years, Levin regularly communicated with Posen, Young, Rappaport, and other employees of the Foundation and provided a substantial amount of material to the Library.
In October 2010, Young emailed Levin and asked him to cut his Volume X submissions significantly. ( Id. ¶ 52.) Levin refused to shorten his materials but agreed to let the Library use his work if it paid him appropriately and confirmed that ...