Stewart Organization, Inc. v. Ricoh Corp.

487 U.S. 22 (1988)


Stewart Organization (P) sued Ricoh Corp. (D) in District Court for the Northern District of Alabama for a breach of a distribution contract. The contract had a venue clause mandating venue only in Manhattan. D brought a motion for a change of venue under 28 U.S.C. Section 1404(a) and also based on the forum selection clause in the contract. P opposed the motion; Alabama law disfavored venue clauses and Alabama law should be applied to this issue. The district court agreed and denied D's motion. The court of appeals reversed; the venue question was governed by federal law, and under that law the forum selection clause was enforceable. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.