Where Can I Bring a Lawsuit?

When bringing a lawsuit one of the first and most important questions to ask is “In what county should I file this lawsuit?” The county where you file is called “venue.” Venue is important because it impacts the judges and juries that get assigned to your case. Depending on the kind of case you are bringing and the sort of outcome you are hoping for, where you bring a lawsuit can set you up for success or failure.

There are many reasons you may want to pick one venue over another. For instance, you may want to pick the venue you live in, for the sake of convenience, that way you won’t have far to travel for court appearances. Or perhaps you are suing a company that employs a lot of people in the county, so maybe you want to venue your case in a different county in hopes of finding a jury that won’t have a brother or a neighbor connected to the defendant. Some venues are known to be more plaintiff-friendly, meaning juries in those places tend to be more sympathetic to the person bringing the lawsuit and tend to give larger awards. Brooklyn and the Bronx, for instance, are known to be very plaintiff friendly. But some other counties are less favorable to plaintiffs. In general, more rural counties like Yates, Allegany or Steuben tend to give smaller jury awards and side with defendants more often. That means if you are a plaintiff in a personal injury suit, you may want to try to find a way to bring your case in a county that has more plaintiff-friendly juries.

The law that governs where you can bring a lawsuit, CPLR §503(a), just changed. Prior to this you were only able to bring suit in the county where either the plaintiff or the defendant resided. Now, thanks to this recent change, you may also bring suit in the county where a substantial part of the incident occurred. So, for instance, say you are a resident of Monroe County and the defendant is a resident of Wayne County and you are involved in a car accident in Onondaga County. You can now choose between Monroe, Wayne and Onondaga counties when choosing where to file your lawsuit.

Where to bring your lawsuit is an important question which requires the weighing of several factors. Segar & Sciortino, PLLC has years of experience bringing lawsuits throughout New York State. We can help you decide which venue is best for your case. Contact Segar & Sciortino for a free consultation.