Author: Melinda H. South
In filing a lawsuit, an attorney must consider both jurisdiction and venue to determine in which court a case can be filed and in which court a case should be filed. “Jurisdiction” means that a court has the power to exercise authority over all persons and things within its territory. To properly file a lawsuit, you must file the lawsuit in a court that has jurisdiction. “Venue” is the geographical location of a particular court. To properly file a lawsuit, you must file the case in an appropriate venue.
There are two ways a lawsuit may end up in federal court. First, a case may be filed in the federal court directly. Second, although a plaintiff files a case in state court,…