Weaponizing Defendant's Forum Choices in Class Action Litigation

Compelling Arbitration; Enforcing Forum Selection Clauses; Removing to Federal Court; Transferring Venue; Challenging Jurisdiction

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, September 12, 2019

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, August 23, 2019

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will prepare class action defense counsel to navigate the unique procedural and substantive complexities of choosing among the defendant's options for forum selection.


In class action litigation, the defendant’s choice of forum is arguably the most outcome-determinative question in the case. But counsel for a defendant often has little time to react to the plaintiff's forum choice, let alone engage in high-level strategic analysis.

While opting to remove a class action from state to federal court may offer more exacting finders of fact--and more rigorous evidentiary and class certification standards, removal may result in other plaintiffs' counsel taking notice and more sophisticated counsel for the plaintiff's bar becoming involved. Removal may also make case settlement more difficult and affect both its structure and cost.

Savvy counsel must also consider forum selection clauses and weigh the advantages or disadvantages of various alternative venues, as well as the option of compelling private arbitration if available.

Listen as our veteran panel of class action practitioners discusses forum choices in general and provides strategic insights and practical guidance on arbitration, forum selection clauses, removal to federal court, consolidation in an MDL, options for defendants facing multiple class actions, and related tools to challenge personal jurisdiction for class members in the wake of Bristol-Myers Squibb.



  1. Forum options for defendants
  2. Moving to compel arbitration
  3. Moving to enforce a forum selection clause
  4. Removing to federal court
  5. Moving to transfer venue
  6. Options for defendants facing multiple class actions in multiple forums
  7. Multidistrict litigation options
  8. Challenging personal jurisdiction in the wake of Bristol-Meyers Squibb
  9. Best practices and strategic insights


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • When should a defendant opt to remove the case from state to federal court?
  • Is it better to have a federal judge who has time to review the briefs thoroughly and will likely apply more rigorous evidentiary and class certification standards?
  • When will removing the case cause other plaintiff counsel to notice the litigation and more sophisticated counsel to become involved?
  • Does removing a case make settlement more difficult and affect the structure of the settlement and its costs?
  • When should counsel consider venue motions?
  • What are the advantages or disadvantages of various alternative venues?
  • When can a defendant compel private arbitration on an individual or class basis?
  • What are the dangers and risks of compelling arbitration?
  • How do standing issues play out in each forum?
  • When is the potential of a motion to transfer the case to an MDL after removal a viable option?


Ackerman, Wystan
Wystan M. Ackerman

Robinson & Cole

Mr. Ackerman chairs the firm's Class Action Team and has a national class action defense practice. He has been...  |  Read More

McGuinness, John
John W. McGuinness

Manatt Phelps & Phillips

Mr. McGuinness litigates commercial disputes throughout the country and has significant experience in complex business...  |  Read More

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