U.S. Supreme Court Holds Forum Selection Clauses are Generally Enforceable
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a forum selection clause is prima facie valid and should be enforced unless enforcement is shown by the opposing party to be unreasonable under the circumstances. Applied Card Systems, Inc. v. Winthrop Resources Corp., No. Civ. A. 03-4104, 2003 WL 22351950, *2. Moreover, the United States Supreme Court has explicitly held that a forum selection clause in a standardized, non-negotiable contract may be quite permissible. See Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v Shute, 499 U.S. 585, 593-94, 111 S.Ct 1522, 113 L.Ed.2d 622 (1991). The Courts reason that a party, especially one that conducts business around the world, might have a special interest in limiting the jurisdictions in which it could be subject to suit. Tricome v. Ebay, Inc. 2009 WL 3365873 (E.D.Pa.) However, the Courts may deem a forum selection clause invalid if there is some form of contractual unconscionability. See id. For instance, courts may deem the forum selection clause unenforceable if the party challenging the user agreement did not have a meaningful choice regarding the acceptance of its provisions because there were high pressure tactics or external pressures used to require the acceptance of the agreement. See id.
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