Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Forum Non Conveniens Determination May Precede Assessment of Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court held today that a district court has discretion to respond at once to a defendant's forum non conveniens plea, and need not take up first any other threshold objection. In particular, a court need not resolve whether it has authority to adjudicate the cause (subject-matter jurisdiction) or personal jurisdiction over the defendant if it determines that, in any event, a foreign tribunal is the more suitable arbiter of the merits of the case. Sinochem Int'l Co. v. Malaysia Int'l Shipping Corp., No. 06-102, 2007 U.S. LEXIS 2828 (U.S. March 5, 2007).

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