Reviewing Domestic and Global Choice of Forum Doctrine Through a Single Case
21 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2006
Date Written: December 12, 2006
Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno is the Supreme Court's leading case on forum non conveniens - that is, on when a federal court should dismiss a pending case in favor of litigation in a foreign forum. Every casebook features the case and every civil procedure professor has taught it. The greatest value of Piper, however, is not its discussion of forum non conveniens, but its fact pattern, which provides an unparalleled vehicle for reviewing a startling number of doctrines pertaining to domestic forum selection, including personal jurisdiction under the stream-of-commerce theory, subject matter jurisdiction based upon diversity of citizenship and alienage, venue, transfer of venue, choice-of-law, as well as statutory interpretation. In addition, its treatment of forum non conveniens raises profound questions about the role of American courts in global perspective. Piper thus accomplishes more than any other single case in the civil procedure course, while emphasizing the importance of forum selection; where litigation proceeds is an issue of surpassing importance, on which litigants will expend great resources.
Keywords: forum selection, forum non conveniens, personal jurisdiction, stream of commerce, subject matter jurisdiction, diversity of citizenship, venue, transfer of venue, choice of law, Goldlawr, Hoffman v. Blaski, Van Dusen
JEL Classification: H77, K10, K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation