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It's Not the State of the Courts it's the State Courts

Where is the best forum to bring a personal injury action? Federal Court? State Court? In a diversity action- where the plaintiff and defendant are from different states- there is an opportunity to sue in the Federal Court. Bear in mind that there still must be jurisdiction over the defendant. I will discuss this jurisdictional issue in another blog. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the relative merits of Federal versus State Court for personal injury actions.

For the most part, and generalizations do have exceptions, experienced personal injury lawyers will maintain that the State Court is the preferred forum. I do not intend to get into a major jurisprudential discussion; I simply want to advise readers that generally the State Courts are considered a more hospitable place for injury cases. There are many theories for this and I will offer a few: the perception that federal jurors are more affluent, that juries of fewer than twelve pose more difficult challenges for the plaintiff, and that Federal judges view their courtrooms as appropriate places for major policy questions and not for the adjudication of injury matters.

Maybe that old adage, “Don’t make a Federal case of it” makes sense.

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