Forum Selection Clauses

Crypto and Forum Selection Clauses

Over the past six months, the crypto industry has suffered setback after setback. In late 2022, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed. Its CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has since been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and securities fraud, among other crimes. In 2023, the SEC filed a civil suit against persons involved in the…

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Floating Forum Selection Clauses

Most forum selection clauses refer specifically to the courts of a particular jurisdiction. Floating forum selection clauses are different.  A floating clause does not reference any court by name. Instead, it ties the choice of forum to a mutable fact that can change after the contract is made. The possibility that the identity of the…

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An Exemplary Decision

It is important to have high standards… especially when it comes to forum selection clauses, personal jurisdiction, and forum non conveniens. Since its inception, this blog has discussed a number of judicial decisions where these high standards were not fully met. One can find posts offering criticism here and here and here and here and…

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Admiralty’s Influence on Transnational Procedure

Admiralty was the original site of transnational litigation in U.S. courts. Given the breadth of admiralty jurisdiction, the federal courts developed a number of procedural tools for balancing international comity and practical concerns in these international business disputes. Just because a foreign ship showed up in a U.S. port, for instance, didn’t mean a U.S….

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Florida Man Seeks Enforcement of Forum Selection Clause

One of the internet’s more enduring memes is that of Florida Man. Florida Man is famous for “performing irrational, maniacal, or absurd actions in the U.S. state of Florida.” Over the years, Florida Man has attacked his neighbor with a tractor, been trapped in an unlocked closet for two days, fed iguanas to alligators in…

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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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