Litigating Employment Discrimination Claims: Filing in State vs. Federal Court

Evaluating Substantive and Procedural Advantages and Risks of Each Venue for Plaintiffs and Defendants

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Course Materials

This CLE course will guide employment litigators in determining whether to pursue or defend employment discrimination cases in state or federal court. The panel will discuss the advantages and risks for plaintiffs and defendants of litigating Title VII cases in each venue.


Employment discrimination cases involve claims that can be litigated in either federal or state court. Deciding which venue is more advantageous for plaintiffs or defendants involves a number of strategic and tactical considerations.

When evaluating where to file a case, plaintiffs counsel should consider the remedies available under federal and state law, deposition standards, jury verdict requirements, evidentiary and procedural distinctions, summary judgment standards, and much more.

Defense counsel should also evaluate these issues and then consider whether it is most advantageous to proceed in the originating court or seek removal to a different court. Defendants pursuing removal must understand the standards for removal in each venue and the procedural requirements.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment litigators debates the advantages of litigating employment discrimination cases in state versus federal court. The panel will explain the standards and requirements that plaintiffs and defendants should consider when evaluating which venue is the best for their case.



  1. Procedural considerations
    1. Logistical requirements and local practice considerations
    2. Removal and remand
    3. State versus Federal Discovery Rules
  2. Evidentiary considerations
    1. Summary judgment standards in Federal and State courts
    2. Differences between Federal and State discrimination statutes
    3. Federal and State case law trends and developments
  3. Practical considerations
    1. Case-specific considerations
    2. Client-specific considerations


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the primary advantages the defendant employer has in federal court? Conversely, what are the main advantages in state court?
  • What are the main advantages the plaintiff employee has in federal court? When is state court a better venue for the plaintiff employee?
  • What considerations should defense counsel take into account when deciding whether to seek removal of a case from one venue to another?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Alex S. Drummond
Alex S. Drummond

Seyfarth Shaw

Mr. Drummond represents management in employment litigation matters before state and federal courts, at trial and...  |  Read More

Trina Fairley Barlow
Trina Fairley Barlow

Crowell & Moring

She represents and advises employers on virtually every federal employment discrimination law and numerous other state...  |  Read More