Riddle: What should you call it when a U.S. federal court decides that a case ought to be litigated instead in Germany?

April 14, 2014

What should you call it when a federal court dismisses a case on forum non conveniens (that’s “the forum is not convenient”) grounds, reasoning that it should instead be litigated in Germany? See, e.g., Bonzel v. Pfizer, Inc., 439 F. 3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2006), for one such case, which aren’t uncommon, given the broad and deep commercial relations between the U.S. and Germany, and the general soundness of the German legal system, which prevents courts from being reluctant to send cases back there.

The answer: Junker abstention.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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