Olinick v. BMG Entertainment, 138 Cal. App. 4th 1286 (2006)

Martin Olinick, a lawyer who is admitted to practice both in New York and California, began working for BMG’s predecessor, RCA Records in New York in 1971. In the last of a series of 3-year employment agreements between the parties, Olinick and BMG executed an 8-page employment agreement covering the period from July 1, 2000 to October 31, 2004. The agreement was the product of nine months of negotiations that were conducted almost entirely in New York between Olinick’s New York lawyer and BMG’s in-house counsel also located in New York. The parties exchanged more than 10 drafts of the agreement. Among other things, the agreement contained a New York choice-of-law provision and a New York forum-selection clause. When BMG terminated Olinick before the expiration of the agreement, Olinick filed the instant lawsuit, alleging age discrimination. In response, BMG sought to stay Olinick’s lawsuit on inconvenient forum grounds based upon the forum-selection provision in the contract. The trial court granted BMG’s motion, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that Olinick has an adequate remedy for his age discrimination claim under New York law