Forum shopping is a legal strategy that involves choosing a jurisdiction to file a legal case in that is most favorable to the plaintiff. While it can be perceived as unethical, forum shopping is a lawful way to obtain justice and receive a fair trial. However, it also has its pitfalls. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of forum shopping in legal jurisdiction.
Pros of Forum Shopping:
1. Increased chances of favorable outcomes: Forum shopping allows plaintiffs to choose a jurisdiction that is more favorable to their case, increasing their chances of winning. For example, a plaintiff might choose to file a case in a jurisdiction that has a better track record of awarding high damages in similar cases.
2. Better access to legal remedies: In some jurisdictions, laws and legal precedents may be advantageous to the plaintiff, providing better access to legal remedies. For example, in some jurisdictions, punitive damages are more likely to be awarded in certain cases, such as those involving securities fraud.
3. Enhances the chances of getting a fair trial: Forum shopping can help plaintiffs to ensure they have a fair trial. For instance, they can choose jurisdictions that have a court system with good reputation or less corruption.
Cons of Forum Shopping:
1. Increases the cost and time associated with legal proceedings: Forum shopping involves additional research, logistics, and expenditures, adding to the overall cost and time associated with legal proceedings.
2. Leads to a lack of consistency: Forum shopping leads to a lack of consistency in legal outcomes, as the standard for the same case can vary widely in different jurisdictions, which can lead to a lack of uniformity in the legal system.
3. Can cause the burden of proof to shift: In some instances, the defendant may change the burden of proof because of a more favorable jurisdiction for the plaintiff. Consequently, the defendant may be forced into a defensive position right out of the gate.
In conclusion, while forum shopping can be a useful strategy for plaintiffs to obtain a fair trial and increase their chances of receiving a favorable outcome, it has its downsides. Forum shopping leads to a lack of consistency in legal outcomes, causing a lack of uniformity and certainty in the legal system. Therefore, we should strive to strike a balance between the rights of plaintiffs and consistency in legal outcomes.