Penn State International Law Review


Eva Horvath

First Paragraph

Let's imagine that you are a successful senior in-house counsel in the Legal Department of the Coca-Cola. Your job as head of the department's litigation unit is interesting work. Recently, disputes have arisen regarding the usage of Coca-Cola's trademarks in some countries. Over the course of a few weeks, you bring claims against partners in Mexico, Hungary, India, New-Zealand, and Zimbabwe. Naturally, the first task of a lawyer in this situation is to look at the contract signed with the above-mentioned partners to establish the proper venue. Should you file a claim in the state court of the relevant country or is your choice governed by an arbitration clause included in one of the contracts signed with the partners? If the contracts do not contain any provision regarding jurisdiction and/or if the case falls within the competence of a state court (or courts) seated in the country of the relevant partner, the lawyer may struggle to establish how and in which state court to initiate proceedings according to the applicable national code of civil procedure. Even if the lawyer can contact local counsel, the parties will still be eager to follow the progress of the case. Thus, their lawyer(s) must be familiar, to a certain extent, with the applicable legal provisions in the forum's court.