MBE Question of the Day – Answer

(A) is correct.

Issue: The issue is which law the court should apply when a case is transferred to a new venue for judicial efficiency.

Rule: The law that the new court should apply in a case that is transferred to it depends on whether the original venue was proper or improper. If the original venue was proper, then the law of that venue’s state still applies upon transfer. If the original venue was improper, then the law of the new venue’s state will apply. Venue is proper in the following federal courts: (1) If all defendants reside in the same state, in a judicial district where any defendant resides; (2) In a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) if there is no judicial district which satisfies (1) or (2), in a district where any defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction with respect to the action. Analysis: Here, venue is proper in State D, where the action accrued, or in State B where the defendants reside. The case was transferred because the bulk of the evidence and the witnesses were in State D – this is a proper basis for transfer. Since the original venue was proper, the new court should apply that court’s rules. Thus the State D court should apply the law of State B and (A) is correct. (B) is incorrect because it is an incorrect statement of law. Plaintiff’s choice of forum does not control which law applies except incidentally. (C) is incorrect because the forum court is sometimes required to apply the law of other states depending on the applicable choice of law rules. There is no blanket rule that a forum court must apply its state’s laws. (D) is incorrect because the appropriateness of the venue does not control which law is applied in a case.