Lesson 4: discussion

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  1. Why do so many litigants, “like moths to a flame,” want to litigate in the United States?
  2. Michael Ghannoum, a resident of Texas, was hired to work as a pilot for Qatar Airways.  Qatar Airways is entirely owned by the government of Qatar.  Ghannoum’s employment was based in Qatar, where he resided under a Qatari resident permit. Qatar Airways’ chief eecutive officer Akbar Al Baker allegedly terminated Ghannoum without cause and refused to pay Ghannoum for one months work.  Qatar Airways subsequently cancelled Ghannoum’s residency permit which prevented him from leaving the country to interview for jobs with other airlines.  Ghannoum was subsequently deported from Qatar and was unable to return to the country for two to four years. Ghannoum filed a lawsuit against Qatar Airways for tortious interference with prospective relations, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and defamation. Qatar Airways moved to dismiss on the basis of forum non conveniens, contending that Qatar was a more convenient forum for the resolution of the claims.  Qatar Airwas conceded that Qatar would not be an adequate and available forum if Ghannoum was not permitted to reenter to Qatar.  However, Qatar Airways promised the court it would do everything within its power to facilitate Ghannoum’s reentry into Qatar to allow him to file and pursue his claims there. 
  • Under the circumstances, is Qatar an adequate alternative forum?
  • What are the private and public interest factors at stake?
  • How do these factors balance in this case?
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