Can you write up a contract stating that any disputes be handled in a specific city/state?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Costa Mesa, CA

I am working with a client who works in Florida. I am located In California. Can I write up a contract stating that if we need to go to court, it needs to be handled in Orange County, CA?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Yes, ordinarily contracts can specify jurisdiction and choice of law where there are multiple locations that could apply.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  2. Scott Gregory Nathan

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Ms. McCall is correct. Many, to most contracts I see have clauses committing the parties to file a lawsuit or arbitrate their disagreements in a certain agreed upon county and to use California law rather than the law of another state or country. You should obtain language for these clauses from an attorney or source you trust as the language in these clauses must be stated in a way that the courts will enforce the terms you agree upon. Good Luck.

    *Scott G. Nathan has been licensed to practice law in California since 1983. The information presented here is... more
  3. Jonathan Paul

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a fairly common provision in contracts referred to as a forum selection clause. A model would read something like:

    "Choice of Forum. Each party irrevocably and unconditionally agrees it will not commence any action, litigation or proceeding of any kind against any other party arising from or relating to this Agreement and all contemplated transactions, in any forum other than the courts of California sitting in Orange County, California. Each party irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts and agrees to bring any such action, litigation or proceeding only in such courts."

    619-881-2305. This response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. Please consult... more
  4. Shaun Michael Murphy

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You can select a jurisdiction and you can designate the choice of law, but you cannot pick a particular venue unless the venue would otherwise be appropriate under the venue statutes. See General Acceptance Corporation of California v. Robinson (1929) 207 Cal. 285, 288 (venue statutes declare the public policy of this state with respect to the proper court for an action, and therefore, agreements fixing venue in some location other than that allowed by statute are contrary to public policy); Arntz Builders v. Superior Court (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1195, 1204; Alexander v. Superior Court (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 723, 731. So for example, if you live in Orange County, you can't pick courts in San Francisco which have no connection to the case and where venue would not otherwise be appropriate.

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