Toward a More “Convenient” Standard of Review in Cases Involving Forum Non Conveniens Issues

The January 2010 edition of the Florida Bar Journal discusses the forum non conveniens doctrine in an article by attorneys Alina Alonso and David Luck.  The article provides an excellent explanation of Rule 1.061(a), Fla. R. Civ. Pro., and how Florida came to adopt the Federal analysis of forum non conveniens issues.  As the article explains, Federal Courts have adopted a four prong analysis:

1) At the outset, does an available and adequate alternative forum exist that possesses jurisdiction over the parties and may resolve the dispute? 2) Do the private interests of the litigants favor one forum or another? 3) Do the public interests associated with each forum favor one over the other? And 4) If the alternative forum is more appropriate and convenient, may the plaintiff reinstate the claim there?

This test has been adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in Kinney Sys., Inc. v. Cont’l Ins. Co., 674 So. 2d 86 (Fla. 1996) and codified in Rule 1.061(a).