Forum Selection After Atlantic Marine

Photos from the Atlantic Marine Symposium
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Video from the Atlantic Marine Symposium

In Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. United States District Court, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the legal effect and implications of private restrictive forum‐selection clauses (agreements to litigate only in a particular forum). The Court’s opinion makes several changes to venue doctrine. First, the Court held that private forum‐selection clauses do not make an otherwise proper venue improper. Thus, the clauses cannot be enforced under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) or via a motion to dismiss for improper venue under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3). Second, the Court held that restrictive forum‐selection clauses may be enforced through a venue transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). When a restrictive forum‐selection clause is at issue, however, courts should presumptively transfer to the party‐selected venue under § 1404(a) unless public factors strongly resist transfer. Third, the Court held that, unlike normal § 1404(a) transfers in which the transferee court applies the law that the transferor court would have applied under the doctrine established in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, a transferee court receiving a § 1404(a) transfer based on a restrictive forum‐selection clause should apply its own law. Atlantic Marine thus affects the law of venue, the law of venue transfer, the Erie Doctrine, and the ability of parties to contractually control their litigation. This symposium will consider the effects and implications of Atlantic Marine on the law of venue, Erie, and beyond.  Scholarship associated with the symposium will be published in the April 2015 issue of Hastings Law Journal.

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September 19, 2014

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

1:00-1:15pm: Welcome Address
• Emily Goldberg Knox, Editor-in-Chief, Hastings Law Journal (University of California Hastings College of the Law)
• Reuel Schiller, Associate Dean For Research (University of California Hastings College of the Law)

1:15-2:45pm: Panel 1: Moderated by Mary Kay Kane (University of California Hastings College of the Law)
• Scott Dodson (University of California 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 (University of California Hastings College of the Law)
• Andrew Bradt (University of California, Berkeley Law)
• Kevin Clermont (Cornell University Law School)
• Linda Mullenix (University of Texas School of Law)
• Adam Steinman (University of Alabama School of Law)

4:30-4:40pm: Closing Remarks
• James Wagstaffe (University of California Hastings College of the Law)

4:40-5:30pm: Reception