Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

No state wide forum shopping under Title VII

The Fifth Circuit issued a writ of mandamus where a defendant's motion to transfer venue in a Title VII case was denied. Although both parties, almost all witnesses, the records and all of the acts occurred in the Western District of Louisiana, the suit was filed in the Middle District. Rather than being heard in Shreveport, it would have been heard in Baton Rouge, more than 220 miles away, making most of the witnesses outside the 100 mile subpoena range. The Court was clearly not pleased with either the result below or the fact that it had taken over 13 months to rule on the motion. In rejecting the plaintiff's argument that it basically got its choice of any district within a particular state, the Court eliminated what could have been substantial amounts of forum shopping if the case had gone the other way. In Re Horseshoe Entertainment [pdf](9/10/02).

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