Forum Selection Clauses

Beer Halls and Forum Selection Clauses

Homer Simpson once described alcohol as the “cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” The same can be said for forum selection clauses. In the hands of the cognoscenti, these provisions can operate as magical elixirs that completely insulate a litigant from liability. In the hands of those unfamiliar with their intricacies, these…

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It Pays to Know About… Obscure Statutes Invalidating Forum Selection Clauses

The law of forum selection clauses can be complicated.  There are, however, some issues that are relatively straightforward.  When a state legislature enacts a statute announcing that an outbound forum selection clause (one selecting the courts of a different jurisdiction) is void when written into a particular type of contract, the clause is generally not…

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Bifurcated Forum Selection Clauses

When I was younger, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. The reader was constantly asked to make decisions. Did you want to explore the basement of the haunted house? If so, turn to page 10. Or did you want to investigate the spooky noise coming from the kitchen? If so, turn to page…

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New Paper on Forum Selection Clauses

Over the past three years, I have spent a lot of time trying to get a sense for when U.S. courts will and will not enforce forum selection clauses. Working with Katie Richardson — first as a law student, then as an associate at McGuire Woods, and finally as a clerk on the D.C. Circuit…

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The Case for Attracting Litigation Business to the United States

U.S. state and federal courts routinely and reliably enforce “inbound” forum selection clauses (FSCs)—that is, if a party sues in a U.S. court designated by a contractual forum selection clause, courts will hear the case rather than dismissing on the basis of forum non conveniens.  In a recent post, John Coyle urged federal actors to…

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Contracting for U.S. Courts in Transnational Commercial Litigation

Among the most important provisions that litigators search for once alerted of a potential dispute are forum selection clauses embedded in a large number of modern commercial contracts. Over the past several decades, state legislators and the U.S. Supreme Court have increasingly enabled parties to litigate in U.S. courts, even for lawsuits with significant “foreign”…

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Should the Federal Government Seek to Attract Litigation to the United States?

U.S. courts have become significantly more hostile towards transnational litigation over the past two decades. Scholars such as Pam Bookman and Maggie Gardner have argued that a series of Supreme Court decisions—relating to the law of personal jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, international comity abstention, the presumption against extraterritoriality, and service of process, among others—have made…

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The Controversy over Non-Signatories to Forum Selection Clauses Goes Meta

Since the mid-1970s, forum selection clauses have become an increasingly pervasive feature of the contracting and litigation landscape. While scholars still debate whether and when certain parties to boilerplate contracts (such as consumers, employees, or other parties with limited bargaining power) should be bound to such clauses, a separate controversy has emerged over the extent…

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A Deeply Flawed Personal Jurisdiction Decision in the SDNY

When dealing with forum selection clauses, one of the most important—if unappreciated—distinctions is between inbound and outbound clauses. An inbound clause selects the court where the suit was filed. An outbound clause selects a court that that is not the forum. Another important distinction is the one between exclusive clauses, which stipulate that suit must…

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Contractual Waivers of Foreign Sovereign Immunity

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) provides that foreign states are immune from suit in the United States unless an exception applies.  An important and long-standing exception to immunity is consent (the more common term in international practice) or waiver (the term used in the United States). The FSIA provides that a foreign state shall…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Matt Hornung

Cornell Law School
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Jonathan Schaffer-Goddard

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg; 4 Pump Court, London
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Chimène Keitner

UC Hastings Law
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David P. Stewart

Georgetown University Law Center
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Curtis A. Bradley

University of Chicago Law School
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Benjamin Hayward

Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School
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Rajat Lal

Faculty of Law, Monash University
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David Landau

Florida State University College of Law
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Tanya Monestier

University at Buffalo School of Law
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