Following an unfavorable decision by an arbitrator, the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters (“PNRCC”) filed suit in the Western District of Washington to vacate the arbitrator’s award to the Laborers’ International Union of North America (“LIUNA”). LIUNA filed a motion to transfer PNRCC’s action to D.C. federal court, arguing that PNRCC was bound to consent to D.C. jurisdiction by the collective bargaining agreement. Finding that the action could clearly have been brought in D.C., the district court focused on the “convenience of the parties” and “interests of justice” requirements for a §1404(a) transfer. The court noted that both LIUNA and PRNCC’s parent union were headquartered in Washington, D.C. and that all relevant records were in D.C. where all of the operative facts of the case occurred. For these reasons, the court held that D.C. was the more convenient forum.
The court also held that the interests of justice supported the transfer. LIUNA had filed a suit seeking enforcement of the arbitration award in D.C. and the court noted that it would be inefficient and duplicative to examine the same issues in separate cases. Ultimately, the court granted the motion to transfer, explaining that whether the agreement properly bound PNRCC was irrelevant in the §1404(a) analysis. LIUNA had met their burden by showing that D.C. was the most appropriate forum to decide all issues based on the traditional §1404(a) considerations. Pacific Northwest Reg'l Council of Carpenters v. Laborers Int'l Union of N. Am., Case No. C09-420 (W.D. Wash. June 5, 2009).