What Is Venue and Why Is it Important to Your Case?
Venue is the location that is legally proper for your personal injury lawsuit to be filed and heard. Put another way, when you have a lawsuit that you want to file with a court, you need to ensure that you are filing it in the proper location. However, many times, there is more than just one proper venue for your case. When this happens, and you have the option between multiple venues, strategically choosing which one to file your lawsuit in is crucial to the outcome.
Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 3(C) (1-13) provides a list of all locations that are considered proper venues. So long as the chosen location complies with Civ. R. 3(C), the venue is proper in any of these locations:
- The county in which the defendant resides; or
- The county in which the defendant has his or her principal place of business; or
- A county in which the defendant conducted activity that gave rise to the claim for relief; or
- The county in which all or part of the claim for relief arose.
Under Ohio case law, it is the plaintiff’s choice as to where they decide to lay the venue. So long as that location is proper under Civ. R. 3(C) that choice is not to be disturbed. Further, it is important to know that all the venue options are on equal footing with each other. This means that there is not one venue option that is better than the other, and they are not listed in a ranked system of preference. So long as where you choose to file your lawsuit falls within one of the venue provisions laid out in Civ. R. 3(C), your case has been properly placed in that county.
How to Decide Where to Lay Venue When Multiple Options Exist
When you have multiple options to choose from, it is important to strategically think about and decide where you lay venue. This is because where you file your lawsuit can have a big impact on the amount you are able to recover should your case go to trial. Some things to consider:
Jury Verdicts in the Counties
Some counties have lower jury verdicts than others. This is an extremely important consideration. If a county has a history of returning low jury verdicts for cases similar to yours, the compensation you receive at the end of your case may be significantly less than had you selected a county where jury verdicts are historically higher.
Consider Who You Are Suing
If you have a medical malpractice claim and are suing an area hospital and that hospital employs a large portion of the community, a jury may be hesitant to award you a large amount of money. Likewise, if you are driving your car and are in an accident with a tractor or other farming implement, and the farmer at-fault is a well-known and liked community member, a jury in that county may be less likely to award a large sum of money to you if they think it may harm the farmer’s finances. In cases like these, if there is an alternative county where venue is proper, your case may have a better result.
Let the Attorneys at Charles Boyk Law Help You Strategically Select a Venue Location
In 2016, Charles Boyk Law Offices represented a family in a wrongful death lawsuit, when their young son died due to medical malpractice. The child had received negligent medical care in Sandusky County, Ohio. Due to this, the child was life-flighted to a hospital in Lucas County, Ohio, where tragically, the child passed away. When it came time to file the lawsuit, our attorneys prudently chose Lucas County as the venue for the case, as it was our goal to get our clients the best recovery possible. Therefore, ensuring the case was venued in a county with higher jury verdicts and in a county where the jurors would have less of a personal opinion as to the negligent defendants was crucial. The defendants, in this case, tried to argue that the venue was improper; however, our attorneys zealously advocated for the case to remain in Lucas County based on precedent case law. The Court agreed with our position, and the case remained in Lucas County.
At Charles Boyk Law Offices, we know that when you come to us in need of legal representation you are dealing with a stressful situation and have many things to think about and decide. When you choose us to represent you, we step in and make sure that we carefully and strategically think about all aspects of your case to get you the best result. If there are multiple proper venue locations for your case, we will thoughtfully examine all of your options and will strategically select the one that we believe will give you the best outcome, giving you one less thing to worry about during this stressful time. Contact our office today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.