What is Venue

By: Frank H. Bailey, Founder/Senior Partner

Often lawyers talk about the venue for a case.  What is Venue?  The dictionary defines venue as the proper or most convenient location for trial of a case.

For civil cases, venue is usually the district or county which is the residence of a principal defendant, where a contract was executed or is to be performed, or where an accident took place.  Venue should not be confused with “jurisdiction” which focuses on the authority of a court to hear a case.

The general venue statute for federal courts is 28 USC 1391.  The general venue statute in Arkansas is ACA 16-55-213.  The venue for Medical injury in Arkansas is the county in which the alleged act or omission occurred.  This can cause confusion where a patient was treated in several counties or was involved in a wreck in one county and treated in another county.

You may often hear about a motion for change of venue.  Defendants can file this motion if they can prove to the court that they cannot receive a fair trial in that court because of pre-trial publicity or some other factor that will prejudice the jury against them.  The court can move the case to another county if the court grants the motion.

In Arkansas, the Civil Justice Reform Act of 2003, the tort reform act, has created many problems with venue in Arkansas.  It is unclear if the legislature intended the new venue provision to repeal and replace older venue statutes or not.  The new venue’s failure to expressly repeal all the old venue statutes has made it difficult for lawyers to determine which venue statute to use.

If you have a question about the proper venue for your case, just call our experienced lawyers at 479-202-5200 or drop by our office.  We are conveniently located just off I-49 in Rogers, Arkansas. We service all of Arkansas and the surrounding states.  We are like old fashioned doctors, we make house calls and listen to our clients.

Bailey & Oliver Law Firm.  Real. Good. Lawyers.  3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Ste. 200, Rogers, AR 72758