Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where Witnesses and Documents are "Spread Across the Country," Location of Defendants' Headquarters in Transferee Forum Did Not Warrant Transfer

Defendants' motion to transfer venue for convenience was denied. "[T]he cost for attendance of willing witnesses factor slightly favors transfer, and the 'local interest' factor strongly favors transfer. All other factors are neutral. Though the Court acknowledges that this is a close case, it is readily distinguishable from cases such as In re Genentech and TS Tech. . . . In light of the evidence that the relevant witnesses and documents are spread across the country, the simple fact that one of the Defendants operates primarily in the transferee venue cannot, standing alone, show clear convenience. If that were so, most cases could only be tried where the parties had their principal places of business. That result is clearly in conflict with a plaintiff’s right to file a case in a district where jurisdiction and venue are proper. Given the evidence before the Court, Defendants’ showing of convenience is tepid and murky rather than clear. Thus, Defendants have failed to meet their burden of showing that the Western District of Washington is the 'clearly more convenient' venue."

Motiva LLC v. Nintendo Co Ltd et al., 6-08-cv-00429
(June 30, 2009, TXED Memorandum Opinion & Order) (Davis, J.)

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