Applicable Law in Federal Court after Transfer of Venue by Plaintiff: Ferens v. John Deere Co., The
Osborne, Christopher C.
INTRODUCTION|Under section 1404(a) of the United States Code, when a federal diversity case is transferred by the plaintiff, is the applicable law that of the transferor or transferee forum? This question has divided commentators and courts alike, and the United States Supreme Courts' recent attempt to answer in Ferens v. John Deere Co. illustrates the expansion from traditional concepts to a rule that effects the appropriate balance between fairness and simplicity. Prior to Ferens, in Van Dusen v. Barrack, the Court had held that the transferee court must apply transferor forum law following a defendant initiated transfer. |In Ferens, the Court effectively clarified and extended the Van Dusen decision, affording a plaintiff-initiated transfer under section 1404(a) the same treatment as that accorded a defendant-initiated transfer. As a result, the Court concluded that the transferee forum was required to apply the law of the transferor court, regardless of which party initiated the transfer. |This Note first reviews the facts of Ferens v. John Deere Co. and the resulting decision of the United States Supreme Court. Second, this Note reviews past cases which had shaped the law prior to Ferens. Third, this Note examines various rationales supporting the application of transferor law in plaintiff-initiated transfers under section 1404(a). Finally, this Note analyzes the Ferens decision and concludes that the United States Supreme Court reached the correct...
24 Creighton L. Rev. 397 (1990-1991)
Creighton University School of Law