Forum Selection Clauses

Implied Jurisdiction Agreements in International Commercial Contracts

In an increasingly globalized economy, commercial transactions often involve business entities from different countries. These cross-border transactions present complex legal questions, such as the place where potential disputes will be adjudicated. To provide certainty, commercial parties often conclude ex ante agreements on the venue for dispute resolution by selecting the court(s) of a particular state. However,…

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Texas, Insurance Contracts, and Foreign Forum Selection Clauses

A pair of recent Fifth Circuit cases — both involving damage to yachts — suggest that that court will enforce foreign forum selection clauses even when they appear in insurance contracts. This post first describes these cases. It then queries whether enforcing foreign forum selection clauses against Texas policyholders is, in fact, consistent with the…

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Forum Selection Agreements as Indicators of Implied Choice of Law

Originally posted on the EAPIL blog on 31 August 2023, and currently updated in this blog. In a recent article, I explore what should be globally significant in a forum selection agreement as an indicator of the implied choice of law when the agreement omits a choice-of-law clause. This topic is in itself a very old one,…

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Splitting the Difference on the Closely-Related-and-Foreseeable Test

Over the past decade, the lower federal courts have repeatedly considered whether non-signatories to a contract are bound by a forum selection clause if they are so “closely related” to a signatory that it is “foreseeable” that they would be bound. In some cases, their decisions are defensible, as discussed here. In others, their decisions…

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Parsing Invalidating Statutes (Part II)

In a prior post, I argued that the precise language used in state statutes purporting to invalidate choice-of-law clauses and forum selection clauses can have outsized effects in litigation. In this post, I continue this discussion by highlighting several statutes that purport to invalidate choice-of-law clauses in insurance contracts. Although these statutes all have the…

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Parsing Invalidating Statutes (Part I)

In previous posts, I have written about how the precise language used in a choice-of-law or forum selection clause can prove consequential in litigation. In this post, I argue that the precise language used in state statutes purporting to invalidate these clauses can likewise have an outsized effect. There are hundreds of state statutes that…

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Financial Hardship and Forum Selection Clauses

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that a forum selection clause should not be enforced when “trial in the contractual forum will be so gravely difficult and inconvenient” that the plaintiff “will for all practical purposes be deprived of his day in court.” The financial status of the plaintiff is obviously a factor that…

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Binding Non-Signatories to Service-of-Process Clauses

I have previously blogged about attempts to bind non-signatories to choice-of-law clauses and forum selection clauses via the closely-related-and-foreseeable doctrine. My general take is that while it is sometimes appropriate to rely on this doctrine in cases involving forum selection clauses, it is never appropriate to rely on it to bind a non-signatory to a…

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Suing Atlantis

The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas (“Atlantis”) is, by most accounts, a nice place to visit. There are water slides and pools, beaches and private cabanas. There is a casino and a spa and a nightclub and a comedy club. Over the past two decades, tens of thousands of American tourists have traveled to Atlantis….

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Inconvenience, Forum Selection Clauses, and Afghanistan

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that a forum selection clause should not be enforced when “trial in the contractual forum will be so gravely difficult and inconvenient” that the plaintiff “will for all practical purposes be deprived of his day in court.” In announcing this rule, the Court recognized that a legal right…

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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 F. Coyle

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

Zachary D. Clopton

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

Chukwuma Okoli

University of Birmingham
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Haley Anderson

University of California Berkeley
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Brian D. Hulse

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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Wenliang Zhang

Renmin University of China Law School
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Haoxiang Ruan

Renmin University of China Law School
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Melissa Kucinski

MKFL
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