Why the Defense Lawyer Wants Your Personal Injury Case Removed to Federal Court


November 19, 2013

While most cases are settled without the necessity of litilgation, when a lawsuit is necessary our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates file most though not all of our cases in state courts, but sometimes the defendant will seek to have the case removed to federal court. There are important differences between federal and state courts that explain the motivation of defendants to seek removal of a case to federal court. While there are situations where a plaintiff in a personal injury case may be best served in federal court, state courts usually provide a better option when there is a choice. We have provided an overview of why a defendant seek to have a personal injury or wrongful death claim removed from state court to a federal court.

Familiarity with Federal Rules: The federal evidentiary rules and procedural rules differ from those in state courts. Every state has its own set of procedures and evidence rules which while similar in many respects can have significant differences. A Georgia personal injury attorney who handles personal injury and wrongful death claims in Georgia courts on a regular basis will tend to be more familiar with the nuances of Georgia law and rules than a defense attorney for a large national corporation who may never have handled a case in a Georgia court. Further, attorneys for national corporations typically have extensive experience with the procedural and evidentiary rules in the federal court system.

Convenience: Federal court cases may move at a faster pace than those in state court which may influence the decision to seek removal because it can reduce litigation costs for a defendant. There are also discovery rules that may be perceived as more cost-effective. In some cases, the request to remove the case to federal court is just a matter of convenience.

Impact on Jury Awards: While many people presume that judges and the court system do not differ dramatically because judges are ethically obligated to be impartial, the perceived favorability of courts often impacts an attorney's preference for where a case is filed. There is a general perception among defense attorneys that defendants fair better in many personal injury cases in federal court than in state courts. The jury panels that will be used differ between state and federal courts which may result in substantially different outcomes. Certain counties have a reputation for more generous jury awards so defense attorneys in these jurisdictions may prefer jurors be selected from a federal panel that draws jurors from a wider geographic area.

Exploiting a Lack of Familiarity with Federal Court: While defense attorneys for large corporations and insurance companies typically spend an enormous amount of time in federal court, they often presume that personal injury attorneys are less comfortable outside of their familiar local court system. Because our Georgia personal injury law firm has been handling cases since 1984, we are comfortable in both state and federal court. However, defense attorneys may attempt to remove a case to federal court so that a personal injury attorney will less experience with the federal court system is forced to deal with procedural, evidentiary and jury selection rules that are less familiar to the plaintiff's attorney.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For You

If you or your family member is injured or a loved one dies and you have questions about the best venue for filing your claim or lawsuit, our Atlanta car accident injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been helping injury victims and their families for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.