Amazon Sellers’ Lawyer Tips: What to Anticipate When Proceeding with Litigation as an AMZ Seller

Amazon sellers. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about litigation and specifically where you sue. If you have to sue somebody, where do you actually file that case?

There are three factors to really consider:

1 – Jurisdiction. Meaning, “Does the court have power over the party that you want to sue?”

2 – Venue. Which courthouse or which state are you going to bring it in? Usually, Amazon sellers are suing people in federal courthouses, but you have to pick which venue, which specific courthouse you’re going to bring the lawsuit in. So you have to have proper jurisdiction so you have a proper venue.

3 – Logistics. I really want you to think about the third factor, which I think is the most important, and it really is the logistics.

You want to make sure that not only do you pick a court that has jurisdiction over the other side, and that has as a venue that’s appropriate, but think it through a couple of steps ahead… Where can you sue that defendant to limit the extent of litigation?

Because let’s say you have every right to sue the other side in the federal court in your home state. It’s more convenient to you. That other seller or that brand is selling products in your state. So you’ve got jurisdiction. You can bring it in that venue. But the other side might bring a motion to dismiss and ask the court to transfer it back to their home court.

Now, I don’t really think it matters which state you sue in, as long as you’re on the same level. Of course, you don’t want to sue Amazon in the federal court in Seattle. They’re just too powerful politically. But it might be in your interest to sue the other side where they are located, because if you do that, they can’t go to court and argue that it’s inconvenient, there’s a Latin term that addresses that, or that the court lacks power over them.

So if you are going to proceed with litigation as an AMZ seller, make sure you are doing it as efficiently and strategically as possible. And which courthouse you choose to file in is sometimes a really, really important decision.


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