administration of justice is served more efficiently when the action is litigated in the forum that is "closer to the action." Paul v. Lands' End, Inc., 742 F. Supp. 512, 514 (N.D. Ill. 1990).
1. Speed at which the case will proceed to trial
LBPC has attached the statistic reports from the Federal Court Management Statistics for the period ending September 30, 1996. LBPC argues that the statistics "clearly" reveal that transfer to the Southern District of Florida is not warranted, comparing statistics on pending cases per judge and the number of filings in each district. However, as this court has previously explained, of the numerous court management statistics, the two most relevant statistics to the court's current analysis are (1) the median months from filing to disposition and (2) the median months from filing to trial. Vandeveld, 877 F. Supp. at 1169; Applied Web Sys., Inc., 1991 WL 70893, at *8.
For the purposes of making the relevant comparison, the court obtained the statistics for the period ending September 30, 1997. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, 1997 FEDERAL COURT MANAGEMENT STATISTICS. The median months from filing to disposition was 5 months in the Northern District of Illinois compared to 8 months in the Southern District of Florida, a difference of 3 months. However, the median months from filing to trial was 24 months in the Northern District of Illinois compared to 19 months in the Southern District of Florida, a difference of 5 months. This suggests that this case might proceed to trial quicker in the Southern District of Florida than in the Northern District of Illinois.
LBPC argues that the "pace of trials in Florida will no doubt be adversely impacted in the years post-reporting because of the lag effect of the sudden glut facing the Florida judges." (Pl.'s Memo. at 13.) However, the 1997 statistics do not support LBPC's argument. For both the period ending September 30, 1996 and the period ending September 30, 1997, the median months from filing to trial was 19 months. Thus, a comparison of the relevant statistics weighs in favor of transferring the case to the Southern District of Florida.
2. The court's familiarity with the applicable law
In this case, there are three claims to be governed by state law. Two of these, the breach of contract claim and the unfair competition claim, will be governed by state common law. The third is a claim for consumer fraud and unfair trade practices under Illinois statutory law.
LBPC claims, without providing an analysis, that Illinois law will govern the state common law claims. In contrast, LRP argues that under Illinois choice of law principles, Florida law will apply. LRP provides a brief analysis of this issue. LRP also asserts that Florida has a statute similar to Illinois' statutes for consumer fraud and unfair trade practices.
Without a meaningful analysis from LBPC on this issue, the court cannot determine which state's law would apply to the common law claims. See Vandeveld, 877 F. Supp. at 1169. However, whichever law applies, neither contract law nor unfair competition law is so unique as to be beyond the bounds of this court's sister court in Florida. See Heller Fin., Inc., 713 F. Supp. at 1131. Further, LBPC does not dispute that Florida has a statute similar to Illinois' statutes for consumer fraud and unfair trade practices. Accordingly, consideration of the applicable law neither weighs in favor of nor against transfer.
3. Injunctive relief
In its complaint, LBPC prays for both mandatory and preventative injunctive relief. Specifically, LBPC asks the court to (1) enjoin defendants from further use of the contents of LBPC's publications; (2) direct defendants to discontinue using and to destroy databases containing material derived from LBPC's publications; (3) direct defendants to cancel or discontinue performing any contract with third parties involving the use of material obtained in violation of the subscription agreement; (4) direct defendants to take all possible actions to recover, destroy, or otherwise decommission any databases in the hands of third parties containing such material; and (5) direct defendants to undertake corrective advertising.
LRP argues that LBPC's request for injunctive relief weighs in favor of transfer. LBPC argues that LRP's argument is "peculiar," stating that "defendants should be presumed to honor the rulings of any court of competent jurisdiction, and no transfer should be granted on the basis of blackmailing our justice system." (Pl.'s Memo. at 15.)
The court finds LRP's argument to be persuasive, not peculiar. The database which is the subject of much of the injunctive relief is located in Florida and cannot be moved. Further, by the time relief is granted, LRP's headquarters will be in Florida. Thus, as a practical matter in this case, Florida is the better forum to enforce and monitor any injunctive relief awarded because the Florida court would be "closer to the action." See Paul, 742 F. Supp. at 514; see also Habitat Wallpaper & Blinds, Inc., 807 F. Supp. at 475.
Based on the above considerations, the court has determined that this case should be transferred to the Southern District of Florida. It is true that Illinois is LBPC's chosen forum. However, other considerations strongly outweigh the deference to be given that choice. First, Florida is the situs of an overwhelming majority of the material events. Second, transfer would best serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses. Third, statistics suggest that the case might proceed to trial more quickly in Florida. Finally, a Florida court is in a better position to enforce and monitor any injunctive relief awarded.
For the foregoing reasons, the court grants defendants LRP Publications, Inc. and Joanne Fiore's motion to transfer venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Accordingly, the court enters the following order:
1. This case is transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
2. Defendant Joanne Fiore's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is stricken as moot.
3. Defendant LRP Publications, Inc.'s motion to dismiss the complaint is to be decided by the transferee court.
Date: JAN 30 1998
James H. Alesia
United States District Judge