The Long-Arm’s Inappropriate Embrace

By Black, Lynda Wray | St. John's Law Review, April 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

The Long-Arm’s Inappropriate Embrace


Black, Lynda Wray, St. John's Law Review


"I've got the drinkers and the smokers and the eaters on my side.'1

INTRODUCTION

Forty miles south of downtown Memphis lies the gambling town of Tunica, Mississippi. Not dissimilar from other gambling venues, visitors pack the poker tables and fill the concert halls. Alcohol and money flow freely. Smoke wafts and permeates the senses. Liaisons consummate. Addictions are indulged. But underneath the frivolity in Tunica's gambling halls lurks an antiquated morality tort that might have a visitor to Tunica losing more than a poker hand.

I.The Players: Golfer and Girlfriend

A.Meet John Daly

Professional athletes live their successes and failures in an increasingly public arena.2 The championship victories as well as the personal tragedies are front page news.3 The achievements and struggles of American professional golfer John Daly are no exception.4 Arguably, the achievements make him a legend, and the struggles make him real.5 Daly was raised in Arkansas, taught himself to play golf using golf balls he recovered from a pond,6 joined the PGA TOUR in 1991 and that same year was named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.7 By the age of thirty, Daly had achieved two major championship titles;8 he boasts a total of five career PGA TOUR victories.9 Despite all of his talent, Daly remains the only eligible two-time major winner never to be chosen to play in the prestigious Ryder Cup.10 Perhaps his antics on and off the greens are to blame.11 In his personal life, Daly has been married and divorced four times and has fathered three children, one each with wives two, three and four.12 Daly is on the verge of marriage number five. He and his girlfriend, Anna Cladakis, became engaged in December 2014.13 Daly, now with Cladakis by his side as caddie and fashion double,14 continues to live large.15 As the hallmarks of Tunica, Mississippi-eating, drinking, smoking and gambling-are also self-proclaimed hallmarks of Daly.16 One would not be surprised to learn that he has, on occasion, visited Tunica, Mississippi for recreation. The casual intersection of John Daly, his girfriend and Tunica provides a litigious lens through which the exercise of long-arm jurisdiction by one state over residents of another state must be examined.17

B.Romance on the Road

Despite an estimated $90 million in gambling losses between 1991 and 2007,18 John Daly owns an impressive tour bus.19 Daly considers his Prevost RV to be his "home away from home."20 These days one might find him in Augusta, Georgia, not on the golf course as in his glory days, but rather, hawking his merchandise from his tour bus parked in front of the Augusta Hooters.21 Allegedly, such a tour bus provided the situs in 2007 and 2008 for Daly and girlfriend Anna Cladakis to engage in the type of behavior in which professional athletes and the beautiful women surrounding them often engage.22

Imagine a 39-year-old Cladakis employed as a promotional director for Hooters meeting John Daly through his endorsement contract with Hooters.23 Imagine further that in 2007 Cladakis travels from her home state of Florida to Memphis, Tennessee for a social visit with Daly.24 While in Memphis, the separated but still legally married Daly and Cladakis hop onto Daly's tour bus for a short drive.25

Memphis is situated in the southwest corner of Tennessee.26 Daly could have driven the tour bus 30 minutes east or north and remained within the state of Tennessee. Alternatively, Daly could have driven 30 minutes west of Memphis to the state of Arkansas. Within either Tennessee or Arkansas, Cladakis's alleged tour bus tryst with a married man would not have given rise to a cause of action in tort.27 However, Daly drove 30 minutes south to the gambling and entertainment town of Tunica, Mississippi. Travel in this direction-and only in this direction-opened the door to a lawsuit by Daly's then wife against Daly's companion on the tour bus.28 Notwithstanding the insignificant amount of time and money Cladakis spent in the state of Mississippi, her lack of assets, and business interests in the state,29 her crossing across the state line into the jurisdictional reach of Mississippi's long-arm statute set the stage for Part II: Mississippi Provides a Remedy. …

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