• Venue Selection Clause Struck by Court Due to "of" Language
  • May 4, 2009
  • Law Firm: Winston & Strawn LLP - Chicago Office
  • The California Appellate Court recently struck the venue selection clause which attempted to elect venue in federal courts in Virginia via America Online's ("AOL") membership contract. AOL's clause contained a choice of law provision designating Virginia courts by stating the "courts of Virginia". The court interpreted the use of "of Virginia" as limiting venue only to Virginia state courts, and not to include Virginia federal courts. The court opined that "courts of Virginia" referred only to Virginia state courts, and that it did not include federal courts located in Virginia.

    TIP: When drafting venue selection clauses we recommend using broad language such as "courts in" or "courts for" a particular state in order to avoid having the clause voided for public policy reasons.