Forum Crowding

76 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2023 Last revised: 9 May 2024

See all articles by Tejas N. Narechania

Tejas N. Narechania

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Tian Kisch


Delia Scoville


Date Written: April 30, 2024


Jurists and scholars have long debated (and often decried) the practice of forum shopping. Critics note, for example, that forum shopping both yields procedural gamesmanship and undermines the
courts’ legitimacy, while supporters contend that competition for cases increases access to the courts and improves litigants’ experiences.

Such debates have overlooked the effects of forum shopping on an important constituency: litigants who have little choice over forum. When forum shopping causes a sudden influx of cases—when, that is, it crowds a forum—what happens to other cases that have nowhere else to go? Are busy judges—made busy by forum shopping—more prone to error?

In this Article, we conduct a novel analysis of the effects of such forum crowding. In particular, we draw on ongoing pathologies in patent litigation, which has been subject to extreme forum shopping
for over a decade, to empirically examine the effects of these practices on other cases, including criminal and civil rights cases, which are subject to more stringent forum rules. We find that, in some crowded courts, these cases may get short shrift. And so we conclude by offering procedural reforms aimed at protecting these cases from being crowded out.

Keywords: venue, forum shopping, forum selling, patent, forum crowding, court congestion, procedural justice, procedural fairness, judicial process

Suggested Citation

Narechania, Tejas N. and Kisch, Tian and Scoville, Delia, Forum Crowding (April 30, 2024). 112 California Law Review 327 (2024), Available at SSRN: or

Tejas N. Narechania (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States


Tian Kisch


Delia Scoville


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