Recently, Ryan McLellan was hired to defend a client located in Malheur County, which is in southeastern corner of Oregon. After the plaintiff was injured in Malheur County, he sued Ryan’s client in Multnomah County, arguing that the client and his business entities had significant contacts in Multnomah County to make venue proper there. Ryan immediately filed a motion to change venue from Multnomah County to Malheur County, emphasizing his client’s lack of any real presence in Multnomah County. Additionally, Ryan argued the nexus of the case was in Malheur County, as that is where the accident occurred, and where most of the relevant witnesses are located.
The venue of a trial or hearing may be one of the most important factors in the outcome of a case. Multnomah County, where Portland is located, is very liberal. Eastern Oregon counties, such as Malheur County, are very conservative. The same case, tried in both counties, may produce very different results.
The judge granted Ryan’s motion to change venue, sending the case to Malheur County against the plaintiff’s objections. After the hearing, the plaintiff’s counsel commented that he was told by one of his colleagues that he had to do anything he could to get his case transferred out of Malheur County! Venue changes can help add pressure on plantiffs counsel to resolve cases in many situations.