Writ of mandamus directing the district court to grant transfer motion issued where district court found no factor favoring retention of claims.
The district court for the Eastern District of Texas refused to transfer the case under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), holding that the convenience factors did not indicate that transfer would be clearly more convenient. The Federal Circuit observed that in reaching this conclusion, the district court found no factor favoring retention of the claims in the Eastern District of Texas, but correctly found that several factors favored the transfer, including ease of access to sources of proof and the public interest factor regarding local interests in the outcome of the litigation. Additionally, the Federal Circuit held that the factors concerning witness attendance were incorrectly found to be neutral regarding transfer. Rather, the presence of a number of non-party witnesses in the transferee forum and the absence of any witnesses in the transferor forum means that these factors favor transfer. The court pointed out that the presence of witnesses and documents in places outside both forums has no effect on this comparison. The Federal Circuit determined that where nothing favors retention in the transferor forum, the analysis shows that the transferee forum is clearly more convenient, and held that refusing to transfer was a clear abuse of discretion, granting the writ of mandamus.
A copy of the opinion can be found here