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Mo-Kan Construction Law Blog: Forum Selection Clauses
The contract is signed, the work begins, and the relationship sours. The parties “lawyer up,” and the contracts are read. Many contracts contain forum selection clauses which state the place where disagreements are to be litigated. Depending on where you reside, you can either litigate in your backyard or some inconvenient, unfamiliar, distant location.
In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Atlantic Marine Construction Co., Inc. v. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, a dispute arose on a Texas construction project between a Texas subcontractor, J-Crew Management, Inc. and a Virginia-based general contractor, Atlantic Marine Construction Co. J-Crew filed suit in Texas federal court since the project and witnesses were located there. Atlantic moved to dismiss the case because the subcontract contained a provision that Virginia would be the exclusive forum for litigating disputes. The U.S. Supreme Court held that unless “exceptional circumstances” exist, the forum selection clause will be enforced. In this case, no such circumstances existed, and the subcontractor was forced to litigate the dispute in the GC’s own backyard.
Continue reading about forum selection clauses on the Mo-Kan Construction Law blog.
The Mo-Kan Construction Law blog connects readers with legal issues and news related specifically to the construction industry. The blog is authored by Dysart Taylor attorney Lee Brumitt. Lee focuses his legal practice in construction law and represents a wide variety of construction trades.