Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It's About Time for a Good 11th Circuit Forum Non Opinion!



This one involves Judge Zloch, the beautiful country of Belize, the newly important significance of a forum-selection clause in conducting a forum non analysis, and sadly -- so sadly -- does not in any way involve Venetian Salami even tangentially:
Thus, a district court now must consider an enforceable forum-selection clause in the forum non conveniens analysis. A binding forum-selection clause requires the court to find that the forum non conveniens private factors entirely favor the selected forum. . . .

In this case, the district court dismissed for forum non conveniens without addressing the significance of the forum-selection clause. In the face of this recent high court ruling, we are obliged to vacate the forum non conveniens dismissal. See Atl. Marine, 134 S. Ct. at 581 (“The calculus changes . . . when the parties’ contract contains a valid forum-selection clause . . . .”); La Seguridad v. Transytur Line, 707 F.2d 1304, 1308 (11th Cir. 1983) (“[T]he court abuses its discretion when it fails to balance the relevant factors.”). We remand to allow the district court to determine in the first instance whether the forum-selection clause in the Master Lease Agreement is enforceable. If the forum-selection clause binds the Government, the district court must find that the forum non conveniens private factors unequivocally support the selected forum. See Atl. Marine, 134 S. Ct. at 582. The forum non conveniens analysis should then proceed, with the understanding that “[i]n all but the most unusual cases . . . ‘the interest of justice’ is served by holding parties to their bargain.” Id. at 583.
I like the bright-line nature of this ruling; now the parties can draft agreements reflecting the state of the law and include or not include such language accordingly.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

that picture is funny as shit. thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

Zloch will try to remand

Anonymous said...

Zloch gonna Zloch