The Yale Law Journal

January 2020

Keeping Litigation at Home: The Role of States in Preventing Unjust Choice of Forum

Civil ProcedureContractsConsumer Law

abstract. Choice-of-forum clauses can pose a significant obstacle to individuals hoping to bring claims against corporations. By limiting claims to particular geographic locations, choice of forum is part of a larger trend of constricted access to the courts. Compared to other restrictions, however, the Supreme Court’s inconclusive stance on choice of forum means that this is one area where states have room to legislate to protect individual plaintiffs. This Note catalogues the surprising breadth of existing state anti-choice-of-forum statutes and argues that states can and should continue legislating in this area, particularly for contractual relationships most commonly defined by resource and power disparities.

author. Yale Law School, J.D. expected 2020. I am thankful to Lea Brilmayer for supporting this project and providing essential feedback and guidance throughout its development. Thanks also to Simon Brewer and Peter Damrosch, as well as Briana Clark and the rest of the Yale Law Journal’s Notes & Comments Committee, for continuously pushing me to make this Note better.