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

Supreme Court Denies Cert in More Transnational Litigation Cases

On Monday, I reported that the Supreme Court denied cert in NSO Group Technologies Ltd. v. WhatsApp Inc., letting stand a Ninth Circuit decision that companies that work for foreign governments cannot claim immunity from suit under federal common law. Monday’s orders list also denied cert in two other cases that TLB has been following. First,…

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“Catching and Killing” Suits Against Boeing

A recent decision by the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Franklin Valderrama) exemplifies the phenomenon that TLB advisor Zach Clopton has termed catch and kill jurisdiction: when federal courts stretch to take cases from state courts only to dismiss them on procedural grounds that the state courts would not have applied. In Wragge v. Boeing,…

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Transnational Litigation Anticipation: Previewing the Court’s Next Term

TLB recently recapped the Supreme Court’s transnational litigation cases from last Term. This post looks ahead to the upcoming Term, for which the Court has already granted certiorari in a personal jurisdiction case that may have implications for transnational litigation. TLB is also tracking several interesting petitions for certiorari in disputes involving the Foreign Sovereign…

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