PointofLaw.com
 Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  
   
 
   

 

 

Forum-shopping in the Eastern District of Texas: In re Volkswagen of America



It's not just patent cases that plaintiffs forum-shop into Marshall, Texas. Let us quote from In re Volkswagen of America, Inc., 506 F.3d 376 (5th Cir.2007), earlier discussed here Nov. 27:

Volkswagen moved to transfer venue to the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas ("Dallas Division"). Volkswagen asserted that a transfer was warranted as (1) the Volkswagen Golf was purchased in Dallas County, Texas; (2) the accident occurred on a freeway in Dallas, Texas; (3) Dallas residents witnessed the accident; (4) Dallas police and paramedics responded and took action; (5) a Dallas doctor performed the autopsy; (6) the third-party defendant lives in Dallas County, Texas; (7) none of the plaintiffs live in the Marshall Division; (8) no known party or significant non-party witness lives in the Marshall Division; and (9) none of the facts giving rise to this suit occurred in the Marshall Division.

The district court refused to transfer to the Northern District, VW sought mandamus, and got it on the second try, with the Fifth Circuit ordering transfer. (See also John Council, "5th Circuit Restricts Trial Courts' Discretion in Venue Motions", Texas Lawyer, Nov. 5; John Council, "5th Circuit Case Could Reduce Product Liability Caseload in Texas' Eastern District", Texas Lawyer, Aug. 7). Michael C. Smith, the plaintiffs' attorney in the case, announces on his blog that last week the Fifth Circuit vacated the decision and granted an en banc rehearing, which will decide how much deference a forum-shopping decision will get in the Fifth Circuit when a defendant shows good cause for transfer under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1404(a). (h/t A.S.)

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.