Law School Discussion

Venue Question

Venue Question
« on: May 06, 2005, 08:50:38 PM »
I was absent during the class we reviewed venue. One aspect is confusing me. I under stand that 1397 shows when venue is proper for certain types of cases (diversity only, federal question, corporations, etc). However, I am reading about the "venue for one is venue for all" rule, that is not in the statute. That is simple enough. But then, I just read Dee-K Enter. v. Heveafil, which supposedly states the exception to this rule. I am just not getting it though. Can someone please explain?

Re: Venue Question
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2005, 09:02:31 PM »
I didn't have this case in CivPro, but this might help you:


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Re: Venue Question
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2005, 09:24:39 PM »
Didn't take civ pro yet, but got this from some online notes.  Hope this helps.  The below goes over some background and basic stuff about venue and then brings in the case you mentioned:

Venue specifies a specific court within a jurisdiction where parties can litigate.  For example, let’s say you know you have jurisdiction in Texas, but there are four federal district courts there.  Venue tells you where exactly you’re going to do your trial.

Why do we have venue?  It helps select where a case can be properly brought.  Isn’t that precisely what personal jurisdiction does?  If we eliminated venue altogether, we wouldn’t have too many problems since personal jurisdiction is pretty well-developed.

Where does venue fit into our decision tree of jurisdiction?  What about notice and forum non conveniens?  Are they preliminary matters, or matters to be determined after the jurisdictional analysis?  Fairman says that it doesn’t matter much.  He says that venue will almost always come after jurisdiction because no jurisdiction usually means improper venue too.  In other words, the venue test often collapses into the tests for personal jurisdiction.

We will look at the federal venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1391, as a model for all venue statutes.  Part (a) deals with diversity-only claims.  Part (b) deals with not-diversity, or “federal question”-type cases.  Part (c) is a special provision for corporate defendants which says that venue basically collapses into personal jurisdiction..  Part (d) is all about aliens.  Parts (e) and (f) are all about governments.

There is a rule that is not in the statute: “Venue for one is venue for all.”  The exception is in the case that follows, where even though the venue is appropriate for the foreign defendants, it may not be appropriate for the domestic defendants.  Furthermore, just because an alien defendant can be sued in any district doesn’t mean there will be personal jurisdiction over them in any district.  This is analogous to the provision that collapses venue and personal jurisdiction for corporations.

Dee-K Enterprises, Inc. v. Heveafil Sdn. Bhd. – The plaintiffs are American companies suing foreign companies.  The defendants challenged personal jurisdiction and venue.  Is venue proper in the Eastern District of Virginia?  The foreign defendants may be sued in any district.  The American distributors can only be sued in districts where they can be “found”.  The court looks at the contacts of the American defendants in Virginia and finds that some of the American distributors can be found in the Eastern District of Virginia, though some may only be found in the Western District of Virginia.

In a diversity action, we would use state law.  However, in this international anti-trust case, they look to the federal statute, which is the Clayton Act.  We can also look at FRCP Rule 4(k)(2), which has a provision for defendants without contacts with any one state sufficient to constitute jurisdiction.

Re: Venue Question
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2005, 10:58:29 PM »
Thanks for the notes. I had those, they were the ones making me confused about the exception. I called a classmate and he said it wasn't important, just to study the 1404 standards and the inconvenient forum test. But thanks to all who replied.

Now, back to the Erie Doctrine . . . . .