Originally published in Law360, New York (September 11, 2012, 1:22 PM ET)
The venue in which a federal case will be litigated is often fiercely contested at the outset of federal litigation, especially in an era of increased bicoastal litigation. Section 1404(a) implicitly recognizes the importance of this early consideration, providing that, “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought.” Motions asking the district court to invoke Section 1404(a)’s discretionary power to transfer litigation to a different federal district — many times across the country — are common. An enormous body of case law been written, mostly by federal district court judges, attempting to interpret and apply the discretionary mandate.
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