Parties to contracts will frequently insert a provision designating an exclusive venue for the trial of any disputes. But why?
- Litigating venue can be expensive and time consuming. Where the parties agree upon a venue in their contract, they may be able to avoid a fight about venue.
- Home field advantage. Litigants generally feel like they have an advantage with judges and juries who happen to also be their neighbors.
- Conversely, making your opponent travel to another state to litigate a case can impose a substantial burden on it.
Remember that choice of law and venue are two distinct concepts. Just because a contract specifies that the law of a particular state applies, does not mean that the case must be brought in that state. To ensure that a case is brought in a particular state, make sure the contract specifies that the parties consent to that state as the exclusive venue for all disputes.