There are plenty of good reasons to shop locally. Ditto for volunteering in local community causes, or getting involved in local politics. When you act on a local level—be it as a resident of your state, county, city, or neighborhood—you can build important connections and have a larger impact on issues that affect you on a daily basis.
But who knew there was also a good reason for a plaintiff to bring a lawsuit locally—in state court rather than a federal district court?
According to data from Employment Practice Liability: Jury Trends and Statistics (Thomson Reuters, 2017), the award medians for labor and employment-related cases are much higher in state courts than they are in district courts. Damages are high all around, with discrimination cases being most expensive at a median of $200,000 at the state level (compare that to $150,000 at the federal level).
Of course, in assessing the costs of a lawsuit, award medians are just one factor among many. If you have the choice of where to have a case decided, you and your attorney will need to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of each venue.
Regardless, these trends are another reason organizations need to carefully consider the legal and regulatory environments of the state (or states) in which they do business. Depending on where you’re located, your local laws and state attorney general may cast larger shadows than, say, Dodd–Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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