Commercial litigants need a litigation strategy before filing suit. Part of that strategy involves targeting the proper court to hear your claim. Often referred to as “forum selection,” this aspect of litigation requires examination of the pros and cons of state versus federal court, evaluating which court gives you the greatest advantage (or the least disadvantage), and convincing your court of choice to exercise jurisdiction.
State and federal courts have slightly different rules and procedures affecting discovery, the admissibility of evidence and motion practice. Substantive law, including may also vary. Then there are the intangibles. Out-of-state parties often feel they can deny the opposition a “home court advantage” by filing in, or removing a case to, federal court. An experienced commercial litigator can advise you about the relative benefits of each court system.
If, after consulting with your attorney, you believe that federal court best suits your litigation strategy, you must establish that the court has jurisdiction. Unlike state courts, which typically exercise jurisdiction over most cases, Title 28 of the United States Code only lets federal courts hear certain types of cases. Generally speaking, federal court exercise subject matter jurisdiction in two types of cases:
At Schwartz & Kanyock, LLC, our commercial litigation attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience. We know how to formulate litigation strategy, including forum selection. If you need aggressive, highly-skilled commercial litigators to handle your case, call us at 312-436-1442 or contact our Chicago office online.