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Corporations Win the Forum Shopping War With Hertz Corp. v. Friend
As litigators, cynics and viewers of A Civil Action know, how and where a lawsuit is brought can determine its outcome at least as often as the merits of the case. Perhaps the most potent civil procedure decision is the case's forum: state or federal court. Generally, corporate defendants prefer federal courts and plaintiffs' attorneys prefer state courts. As a result, "forum shopping" battles dominate the early stages of proceedings, as the sides fight over whether a corporation can be deemed a "citizen" of the state the plaintiffs come from; if both sides are from the same state, the case stays in that state's court.