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Where Do You File Suit?

Where you file suit is called “venue.” ERISA has a broad venue provision found at 29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(2). Under that provision, venue is appropriate where “the plan is administered, where the breach took place, or where a defendant resides or may be found, and process may be served in any other district where a defendant resides or may be found.” Some courts have held that a defendant “may be found” in any federal district in which “minimum contacts” would support a finding of personal jurisdiction. See, e.g., Waeltz v. Delta Pilots Ret. Plan, 301 F.3d 804, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2002); Varsic v. United States Court, 607 F.2d 245, 248-49 (9 th Cir. 1979). However, even if venue is proper within a judicial district chosen by the plaintiff, the defendant may move to transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404. Under the transfer statute, the court considers factors such as the convenience of parties, convenience of witnesses, and interests of justice.


Seth has always been compelled to excel, whether it meant earning his Eagle Scout as a teenager, participating in theater, debate and varsity football in high school, his Rhodes Scholar candidacy in college, or opening his own law firm. He also perseveres in situations others might shy away from, whether it involves sky-diving, rappelling down a mountain, white-water rafting, participating in marathons and triathlons, writing a novel, or lecturing nationally to large audiences about the vagaries of ERISA.


Seth is committed to serving disabled individuals. He is proud of his work in prominent organizations such as the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) and Hospice. Seth is past-Chair of both AAJ's & TBA's Disability Law Sections, past-President of the Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association, a 2-time recipient of the Pro Bono Excellence Award, and a 7 year member of the Board of Directors for Hospice of Chattanooga.