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For instance, the statute might say that a case concerning land must be filed in the county where the land is located, and that other suits must be brought in the county where the defendant resides or is doing business. If justice so requires, the defendant may be able to obtain a change of venue. This can occur when, for example, a fair trial would be impossible within a particular county.


Contracts sometimes contain a clause reciting that disputes between the parties regarding matters connected with the contract must be litigated in the courts of a particular state. Such a provision is known as a forum selection clause. Depending on its wording, a forum selection clause may have the effect of addressing both jurisdiction and venue issues. Although forum selection clauses may appear in agreements whose terms have been hammered out by the parties after extensive negotiation, they fairly often are found in form agreements whose terms were not the product of actual discussion or give-and-take.


For example, an Internet access provider (IAP) may include a forum selection clause in a so-called “clickwrap” document that sets forth the terms of its Internet-related services—terms to which the IAP’s subscribers are deemed to have agreed by virtue of utilizing the IAP’s services.