Forum non conveniens is the discretionary power of a court to decline its jurisdiction in cases where another court may more conveniently hear a case. As the U.S. Virgin Islands is roughly 1000 miles from the U.S. mainland, an individual or company faced with litigation may see this doctrine arise. The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals handled the question in a case involving parties from foreign countries.
In Kisano Trade & Invest Ltd. and Trasteco Ltd., two companies owned by Vadim Shulman, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in June 2011 against Dev Lemster and his company, Steel Equipment Corp. The complaint alleged numerous contract violations, including intentional interference with contract and unjust enrichment. After discovering potential fraud by his business partner, Akiva Sapir, Shulman amended his complaint to add himself as a plaintiff, along with Sapir and certain of his entities as defendants.
- the ease of access to sources of proof;
- ability to compel witness attendance if necessary;
- means to view relevant premises and objects; and
- other potential obstacles impeding an otherwise easy, cost-effective, and expeditious trial.
- the administrative difficulties arising from increasingly overburdened courts;
- local interests in having the case tried at home;
- desire to have the forum match the law that is to govern the case to avoid conflict of laws problems or difficulty in the application of foreign law; and
- avoiding unfairly burdening citizens in an unrelated forum with jury duty.