“Venue” is the legal word for where litigation should be filed, depending upon a certain, well-defined set of circumstances. In general in California, “the superior court in the county where the defendants or some of them reside at the commencement of the action is the proper court for the trial of the action.” ( C. C.P. § 395.)
In a contract dispute, however, “if a defendant has contracted to perform an obligation in a particular county, the superior court in the county where the obligation is to be performed, where the contract in fact was entered into, or where the defendant or any defendant resides at the commencement of the action is a proper court for the trial of an action founded on that obligation, and the county where the obligation is incurred is the county where it is to be performed, unless there is a special contract in writing to the contrary.” ( C. C.P. § 395.)
This last phrase is very important, since it relates that the venue– where the lawsuit may be filed– may be changed by a contract in writing. ( C. C.P. § 395.) This may be a key aspect of a contractual dispute, as the contract’s terms may call for obligations to be performed in different locations– even different countries- by companies located as well in different locations– or even different countries.
The contract itself may include a clause determining where the litigation shall be filed in the case of a dispute between the parties. This may be highly critical to your case, as a proper contractual venue clause should have the parties agreeing to resolve litigated disputes in a particular county or forum, for example, in the superior court of the county of your choosing, such as where your client does business or even a county you anticipate will be favorable to your client or your dispute.
Although seldom do contracting parties include clauses regarding the location of the courthouse in case of a dispute, this clause may prove enormously beneficial to your client when, and if, litigation results.