Yesterday, Judge Woodcock of the U.S. District Court of Maine denied the University of Phoenix’s request to transfer an age discrimination case against it to a court in Arizona, where it is headquartered. Two former employees of the university, one of whom lives in Maine, filed this lawsuit against the university claiming that the same group of people discriminated against both of them. The university argued that it would be more convenient to litigate one of the plaintiff’s claims in Arizona. However, the court held that “the convenience of the parties and the witnesses would be unquestionably enhanced with one trial of two Plaintiffs in Maine rather than two trials of single Plaintiffs in Maine and Arizona.”
Interestingly, the court held that the location of documents, which was once a weighty factor, no longer carries that much weight when a judge considers whether to transfer a case to another court. This is because documents are not kept in paper form as much as they used to be and they are easily transported to distant places. Indeed, the University of Phoenix is an international business which regularly transfers documents to other countries where it has operations.