in the majority of business litigation matters, the plaintiff has the option of choosing among various venues in which to file the case. It is possible that the case could be brought in either a state or a federal court, or in a court located in one of several states, or in one of several counties within a state. There is also the possibility that a case may be brought in a private arbitration setting rather than in court at all. Deciding where to file the case is a very important strategic decision, and one made at the outset of the litigation. The approach I take to this issue is to keep an open mind and objectively weigh the benefits of each possible venue. As I tell my clients, I have a car and I am willing to drive it to the best venue for their case to be tried. (Most lawyers have cars, but many are not so willing to drive them anywhere but to their local courthouse). To make an intelligent choice, an attorney has to be familiar with the rules pertaining to personal and subject matter jurisdiction, the rules for venue, and the various procedures, proclivities and policies of each of the venues under consideration. How long does it take for a case to get to trial? What are the demographic makeups of the juries? How does the Court handle discovery disputes? Will the case receive Court ordered mediation? These are all fair questions, and the answers to those questions in any particular case could affect the ultimate decision about where to file. Before you green light a lawsuit, make sure that your attorney has given thoughtful consideration to where the case should be put in suit.
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