Alcoholics Anonymous World Services v. Friedman

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In Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. v. Friedman, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8939 (S.D.N.Y. June 15, 1992), a federal district court interpreted the amendments to the venue law to allow venue in one district even though other districts may have greater connection with the claims:

However, the recent amendments to § 1391(b) have rendered Leroy's holding "largely academic." See David D. Siegel, Commentary on 1990 Revisions of Subdivisions (a), (b), and (e) 4, 6, 28 U.S.C.A. § 1391 (Supp. 1991). HN5Go to the description of this Headnote.The purpose of the amendments was to replace the litigation-breeding phrase "the claim arose," which implied that, for venue purposes, a claim arises in only one district, with new language making venue proper in a number of districts as long as the claim related activity in those districts was "substantial." See Federal Courts Study Implementation Act of 1990, H.R. Rep. No. 734, 101st Cong., 2d Sess. 23 (1990), reprinted in 1990 U.S.C.C.A.N. 6860, 6869. Hence under the new statute, it is not "unusual" for a claim to arise in more than one district for venue purposes. See id. The new amendments make it clear that venue is proper not only where the most "substantial" activities giving rise to the claim occurred, but where lesser parts of these activities occurred as long as these lesser parts were also "substantial." See Siegel, supra, at 4.
Since the new statute uses the same "substantial part" requirement outlined in Honda, plaintiff is correct that Honda and its progeny supply the proper framework within which to analyze venue under the new statute. <footnote 3> Thus venue will be proper in this action if the weight of contacts between the allegedly infringing activity and this district is substantial.
<footnote 3> The court in Honda declined to hold explicitly that venue would be proper in a district if there were "substantial" activities in that district but more substantial activities in another district, see 374 F. Supp. at 890, 892, although later cases applying Honda's holding often held that "substantial" activity would be sufficient regardless of the activity in other districts. See, e.g., Children's Television, supra, 223 U.S.P.Q. at 968. The new statute makes it clear that substantial activity is enough even if there is greater activity in another district.
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