Policyholder's Choice of Forum Upheld

The court in AKH Co., Inc. v. Universal Underwriters Ins. Co., No. CIV.A. 13-2003-JAR, 2013 WL 2948422 (D. Kan. June 14, 2013) denied UUIC's motion to transfer venue to the Central District of California addressing each of the factors attendant on that motion, concluding that plaintiff's choice of forum weighed against transfer and conceded that the principal facts about coverage - the policy, the underlying complaint, Universal's promise to defend the suit, Universal's settlement of the suit - are undisputed. Defendant offered no evidence of the potential cost of litigating the case in Kansas vs. California, and the enforceability of judgments and advantage and obstacles to fair trial and difficulties that may arise from congested dockets were neutral. Kansas choice of law rules were applicable and federal courts prefer that in diversity actions, the court sitting in the state that provides governing substantive law addressed these issues. The purported advantage of having local counsel determine questions of local law was of no moment as the record was insufficiently developed to require addressing this issue.