Mandamus granted to compel intra-district venue transfer

“Mandamus petitions from the Marshall Division are no strangers to the federal courts of appeals.”  In re Radmax, Ltd., No. 13-40462 (June 18, 2013).  In Radmax, the Fifth Circuit found a clear abuse of discretion in declining to transfer a case from the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas to the Tyler Division.  It found that the district court incorrectly applied the eight relevant 1404(a) factors, giving undue weight to potential delay and not enough weight to witness inconvenience, and quoting Moore’s Federal Practice for the principle that “‘the traditional deference given to plaintiff’s choice of forum . . . is less’ for intra-district transfers.”  Accordingly the Court granted mandamus pursuant to In re Volkswagen, 545 F.3d 304 (5th Cir. 2008) (en banc).  A pointed dissent agreed that the 1404(a) factors favored transfer but saw no clear abuse of discretion, noting that there was no clear Fifth Circuit authority on several of the points at issue in the context of intra-district transfers.  “The majority persuasively fills those doctrinal gaps with citations to Moore’s Federal Practice; that treatise may prove convincing, but it is not binding law.”

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