Chicago, General Negligence, Publications, Transportation

The Evolution of Forum Non Conveniens in Illinois and Recent Legislation to Limit the Doctrine

February 16, 2021

The purpose of this Monograph is to educate the reader as to the long history and importance of the forum non conveniens doctrine and to a recent movement to have the Illinois legislature act to take away Illinois courts’ ability to transfer cases to more appropriate counties within the State. It is well-known that certain Illinois counties are viewed as more “plaintiff-friendly,” while others are viewed as more defense-oriented. Plaintiffs have the power to choose where to file their lawsuits within the rules and laws concerning venue and jurisdiction. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 187, which allows for transfer or dismissal of cases pursuant to the doctrine of forum non conveniens, is a defendant’s check on the plaintiff’s unilateral choice, which ensures fairness and convenience to all parties. This rule has engendered a robust history of case law that continues to evolve as courts wrestle with the factors that make a county both technically correct and also fair and convenient to the parties, witnesses, jurors, and counties themselves.  This article originally appeared in the IDC Quarterly.  To read the article, please click here to download.

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