Civil Procedure Class Notes
Venue: what is it?
specifies a specific court within a jurisdiction where parties can
litigate. For example, let’s say you
know you have jurisdiction in
We will look at the federal venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1391, as a model for all venue statutes.
The structure of the statute
Part (a) deals with diversity-only claims. Part (b) deals with not-diversity, or “federal question”-type cases. Part (c) is a special provision for corporate defendants. Part (d) is all about aliens. Parts (e) and (f) are all about governments.
defendant is in the Southern District of New York. The product was designed in
on the operative issue, we might be able to get venue in
There is a rule that is not in the statute: “Venue for one is venue for all.” The exception is in the case that follows, where even though the venue is appropriate for the foreign defendants, it may not be appropriate for the domestic defendants.
the plaintiff sues one defendant in the Southern District of New York, and
another who lives in
In regard to corporations, § 1391(c) says that venue basically collapses into personal jurisdiction.
about a Canadian suing a Californian over a car accident in
How about the Californian suing the Canadian? An alien can be sued in any district under § 1391(d). So okay, yay! Is this unfair? Why won’t we try to be fair to foreigners? Isn’t this rule incompatible with our principles of personal jurisdiction? Where is the convenience test here?
The answer is: just because the alien defendant can be sued in any district doesn’t mean there will be personal jurisdiction over them in any district. This is analogous to the provision that collapses venue and personal jurisdiction for corporations.
What is this case about? It’s about bungee cord! There is an allegation of an international cartel jacking up the price of bungee cord thread. Yeazell leaves out a critical part of the case, according to Fairman.
Two American companies sue some Malaysian, Indonesian, and Thai corporations as well as their American distributors. The distributors are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the foreign corporations. There are lots and lots of people involved here.
There are challenges to both jurisdiction and venue. Yeazell omits the jurisdictional argument, but we’ll consider it.
Jurisdiction in Dee-K
In a diversity action, we would use state law. However, in this international anti-trust case, they look to the federal statute, which is the Clayton Act.
We can also look at FRCP Rule 4(k)(2), which has a provision for defendants without contacts with any one state sufficient to constitute jurisdiction.
was Bakrie served? Did it get proper
So Bakrie’s service satisfied the “long-arm” statutes, such as they are. What about Due Process? Could we get general jurisdiction? We rarely can, and definitely cannot in this case. It will be specific jurisdiction. We must do a contacts analysis.
test do we use for minimum contacts given that Bakrie is a manufacturer that
makes goods for the
Venue in Dee-K
will we have venue over the foreign defendants?
The Clayton Act said something, but so did § 1391. It turns out that the Supreme Court has ruled
that § 1391 trumps the Clayton Act. §
1391(d) gives you venue over aliens anywhere you’d like. Venue is easy for the aliens.
about for the
The court says that Congress must not have intended the foreign defendants to “pull” the domestic defendants into a particular venue. Therefore, the court “punts” the case back down to a lower court to get more information.
Even though there is a broad provision about aliens in the FRCP, courts make you work through the domestic defendant analysis first, and you can’t use § 1391(d) as a trump card.
Tomorrow, we will conclude venue and move on to forum non conveniens.