Enforcing Forum-Selection Clauses
Bradley Scott Shannon
Volume 66, Issue 3, 777-94
In Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court, the Supreme Court created a scheme for the enforcement of contractual forum-selection clauses in federal courts. But the Court’s scheme, which relies heavily on the use of federal venue transfer statutes and the doctrine of forum non conveniens, is highly problematic. The relevance of federal venue statutes for this purpose seems questionable, and the use of such statutes results in an unduly complicated analysis that fails to capture all relevant considerations in this context. The Court’s reliance on federal venue statutes also prevents state courts faced with similar issues from utilizing the same mode of analysis. Simply enforcing forum-selection clauses by their terms through a motion to dismiss would result in a simpler, more just, and more universal solution to this problem.