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The Florida Bar Journal
Venue-selection Clauses: A Trap for the Unwary

by David B. Weinstein and Andrew Patch
Including a “boilerplate” forum-selection clause in your client’s contract could preclude resulting litigation from proceeding in a federal district court. Forum-selection clauses mandating venue in a particular county are commonplace, particularly in real estate and construction contracts. If, however, the mandated county lacks a physical “bricks-and-mortar” federal courthouse, such a clause might prevent a party from litigating in a federal forum. While the importance of well-drafted forum-selection clauses has been the subject of much discussion, their potential to foreclose proper venue in federal court remains relatively unexplored.
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[Revised: 02-27-2014]