Procedure Class Notes
Why do we have venue? Stevie Y. thinks this is a good question. What’s the need to have a separate statute that just seems to mirror personal jurisdiction? It helps select where a case can be properly brought. Isn’t that precisely what personal jurisdiction does?
Fairman says we do it because it’s the law! “There’s a statute, so we have to follow it.”
But Yeazell has a point: if we eliminated venue altogether, we wouldn’t have too many problems since personal jurisdiction is pretty well-developed.
Where does venue fit into our decision tree of jurisdiction? What about notice and forum non conveniens? Are they preliminary matters, or matters to be determined after the jurisdictional analysis? Fairman says that it doesn’t matter much.
He says that venue will almost always come after jurisdiction because no jurisdiction usually means no venue either. In other words, the venue test often collapses into the tests for personal jurisdiction.
What about notice? There is constitutional notice, but there are also state and federal service rules.
What’s the factual background? “This is a superb case to end this unit on because it’s absolutely chock-full of neat stuff related to procedure.”
plane full of Scots crash in
other companies were involved? There are
some companies in
start out in
there any connection to the
is a classic case of forum shopping!
The plaintiffs’ attorneys specialize in looking for plane crashes all
over the world and litigating them in the
A catalog of strategic maneuvers
The defense lawyers make three brilliant procedural moves:
1. The defendants
removed the case from state court to federal court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441-52. Removal is something the defendants do when
the claim is something over which federal courts would have original jurisdiction.
Why did the plaintiffs file this lawsuit
in state court instead of federal court?
We know that the plaintiffs are forum shopping. But both courts will apply the same law. What is so great about state court? In World-Wide, the
composition of the
2. The defendants won a transfer from federal district court in California to district court in Pennsylvania under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). There is broad authority for a federal district court to move a case to another other district where the case could have been brought.
3. The defendants move for dismissal based on forum non conveniens under 28 U.S.C. § 1406. They win! The case goes to Scotland.
case started in
So this is procedurally complicated! It’s exciting!
did the Third Circuit do wrong, according to the Supreme Court? The Third Circuit reversed on the ground that
the law would be less favorable to the plaintiffs in
The Gilbert balancing test
This is the black letter law of forum non conveniens. It weighs “private” and “public” factors.
The private factors are:
1. Relative ease of access to proof
2. Availability of witness subpoenas
3. Cost of getting witnesses
4. Possibility of view of premises if called for
The public factors are:
1. Court congestion
2. Local interest in having local controversies decided at “home”
3. Forum familiarity with substantive law
4. Unfairness of burdening citizens with jury duty for case unrelated to forum
This is similar to the “five factor” test for “fair play” that comes out of World-Wide. Notice that Gilbert is a really old case. It’s from 1947.
Next time, we’ll start talking about the choice of law issue. Keep mentally in touch with Piper.
 Notice that the defendants did not challenge jurisdiction at this point, or really at any other point.