Forum Selection After Atlantic Marine

Atlantic Marine, decided by the Supreme Court in December 2013, held that parties’ restrictive forum-selection clauses (agreements to litigate only in a particular forum) do not make an otherwise proper federal-court venue improper. Thus, the Court abrogated a strong majority of circuits that had allowed such clauses to be “enforced” through a motion to dismiss for improper venue under Rule 12(b)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 1406. Instead, the Court held, federal courts may “enforce” such clauses under the venue-transfer statute of 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), which allows a court to transfer from one proper venue to another proper venue for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice. When a restrictive forum-selection clause is at issue, however, courts should presumptively transfer to the party-selected venue unless public factors strongly resist transfer. The Court thus modified the normal considerations applicable to a 1404(a) transfer. Further, unlike normal 1404(a) transfers in which the transferee court applies the law that the transferor court would have applied under Erie, the Court stated that a transferee court in 1404(a) transfer based on a restrictive forum-selection clause should apply its own law.

Atlantic Marine thus dramatically alters the law of venue, the law of venue transfer, the Erie doctrine, and the ability of parties to contractually control their litigation. This Symposium, sponsored by UC Hastings College of the Law and the Hastings Law Journal, will consider the effects and implications of Atlantic Marine on the law of venue and beyond.

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September 19, 2014

UC Hastings College of the Law, Louise B. Mayer Lounge

1:00-1:15pm: Welcome Address
• UC Hastings Associate Dean For Research Reuell Schiller

1:15-2:45pm: Panel 1: Moderated by Mary Kay Kane (UC Hastings College of the Law)
• Scott Dodson (UC Hastings College of the Law)
• Robin Effron (Brooklyn Law School)
• Stephen Sachs (Duke University School of Law)
• Brad Shannon (Florida Coastal School of Law)

2:45-3:00pm: Break

3:00-4:30pm: Panel 2: Moderated by Rick Marcus (UC Hastings College of the Law)
• Andrew Bradt (UC Berkeley Law)
• Kevin Clermont (Cornell University Law School)
• Linda Mullenix (University of Texas School of Law)
• Adam Steinman (University of Alabama School of Law)

4:30-4:35pm: Closing Remarks

4:35-5:30pm: Reception