Forum Non Conveniens

Forum non conveniens is a judge-made doctrine that permits a court to decline to hear a case on the understanding that it would be more appropriately resolved by a different sovereign’s courts. The doctrine is used by both state and federal courts in the United States to dismiss cases with transnational elements, particularly those brought by non-U.S. plaintiffs.

A Primer on Forum Non Conveniens

Under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, a judge may dismiss a case on the understanding that the case would be better heard in another sovereign’s court. It is a judge-made discretionary doctrine that can be invoked even if the court otherwise has proper jurisdiction over the case. This primer describes the current federal doctrine…

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Recent Posts

Zooming Out of Forum Non Conveniens

A recently published note in the Columbia Law Review, written by Christabel Narh, draws a connection between the federal courts’ technological learning curve during the pandemic and the future of forum non conveniens. Zooming Our Way Out of the Forum Non Conveniens Doctrine argues that the federal courts’ trial-by-fire with videoconferencing and remote litigation during…

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Supreme Court Requests Response to FNC Cert Petition

The Supreme Court has called for a response in Wamai v. Industrial Bank of Korea, a terrorism-related lawsuit that was dismissed for forum non conveniens. The plaintiffs have asked the Court to consider how much deference federal courts should give U.S. plaintiffs’ choice of forum when they are joined by foreign co-plaintiffs. The Southern District…

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Federal Court in Nevada Allows Ethiopia Bribery Claims to Move Forward

In a fascinating decision, the District Court for the District of Nevada (Judge Richard Boulware) recently allowed civil RICO claims to proceed against a Nevada resident based on bribery in Ethiopia, while dismissing claims against Ethiopian government entities under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Fremichael Ghebreyesus v. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia not only…

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William S. Dodge, Maggie Gardner, & Christopher A. Whytock, The Many State Doctrines of Forum Non Conveniens, 72 Duke L.J. 1163 (2023) (SSRN)

Maggie Gardner, Retiring Forum Non Conveniens, 92 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 390 (2017) (SSRN)

Peter B. Rutledge, With Apologies to Paxton Blair, 45 N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 1063 (2013) (Georgia)

Thomas O. Main, Toward a Law of “Lovely Parting Gifts”: Conditioning Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals, 18 Sw. J. Int’l L. 425 (2012) (UNLV)

Christopher A. Whytock, The Evolving Forum Shopping System, 96 Cornell L. Rev. 390 (2011) (SSRN)

Ronald A. Brand & Scott R. Jablonski, Forum Non Conveniens: History, Global Practice, and Future under the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (2007)

Elizabeth T. Lear, National Interests, Foreign Injuries, and Federal Forum Non Conveniens, 41 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 559 (2007) (Florida)

Martin Davies, Time to Change the Forum Non Conveniens Analysis, 77 Tulane L. Rev. 309 (2002)

Allan R. Stein, Forum Non Conveniens and the Redundancy of Court Access Doctrine, 133 U. Pa. L. Rev. 781 (1985)