in favor of transferring this case to New York.
The last pertinent consideration on a motion to transfer is whether a change of venue is in the interest of justice. The interest of justice reflects "such concerns as ensuring speedy trials, trying related litigation together, and having a judge who is familiar with the applicable law try the case." Heller Fin., Inc. v. Midwhey Powder Co., 883 F.2d 1286, 1293 (7th Cir. 1989). Taking into account these considerations, the court finds that the interest of justice would be better served if the case went forward in Chicago. This court has already set a firm trial date, and the case will be tried as scheduled. In the Southern District of New York, the parties cannot be assured of receiving a trial on the merits in the near future; the backlog of cases in that district is well documented. Besides, the law of Illinois governs the construction and interpretation of the relevant contractual agreements. A court sitting in Illinois unquestionably has greater familiarity with Illinois law than a court sitting in New York.
Defendants simply have not provided any compelling reason to upset Continental's choice of forum. Aside from the fact that the defendants and some of their witnesses reside in New York, the Southern District of New York has relatively little connection to this litigation. The loan and guaranty agreements were negotiated, executed, and delivered in Chicago -- though negotiations were also conducted in New York. The loan was disbursed from Chicago and it was to be repaid to Continental in Chicago.
Defendants claim that the interest of justice demands a transfer because the borrowers' bankruptcy cases are pending in New York. Considering all of the factors which militate against a transfer, the pendency of these bankruptcy cases in another district will not support defendants' motion. It is extremely unlikely that this case would ever be joined with the bankruptcy cases. Although there may be some overlap in discovery between this case and the bankruptcy proceedings, the cases are not so closely aligned as to warrant coordination of discovery. The cases involve different issues and there is no serious threat of duplicative litigation or inconsistent judgments. For purposes of resolving the claims arising from the guaranty agreements, this court is not persuaded that a New York trial is in the interest of justice.
For the foregoing reasons, the court denies defendants' motion to transfer.
IT IS SO ORDERED.