The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, No. 12-929. In this case a federal district judge in Austin declined to enforce a contractual forum-selection clause that was otherwise enforceable under Texas law. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial judge’s decision to keep the litigation in Texas rather than the Virginia court specified by the parties’ contract. Atlantic Marine Construction Co., which is domiciled in Virginia, appealed to the Supreme Court.
TCJL filed an amicus brief supporting Atlantic Marine’s petition for writ of certiorari on the basis that venue was improper in Texas and that sophisticated parties that enter into uncoerced, voluntary forum selection agreements should not be able to escape responsibility for their agreements by winning a race to the courthouse.