The Washington Post

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

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.
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.