Venue – further hypos

John Carter went to see Janet Sayre and her band “Waste” play at Cubby Bear bar in Wrigleyville. He particularly liked the band’s song, “The Heartbreak Anthem.” Later that weekend, Mr. Carter went to Dream Theatre in Pilsen and saw an avant-garde new work, “Feline Feast,” written by Crystal Eggleston, in which the female lead eats her cat and then regrets it.

It occurs to Carter that a combination of the song and the story from the play would make a compelling movie.  He assembles some of his movie-making buddies from college to make the movie. The team goes to Carter’s family cottage in Mountain Home, Arkansas and spends a long weekend writing the screenplay, regularly consulting a recording of “The Heartbreak Anthem” that Carter made on his iPhone and detailed notes he made while he watched the play.

They decide to shoot the movie in East St. Louis, IL, because its dark ambience is perfect. Carter does the final editing in Final Cut Pro on Carter’s computer during several Civil Procedure classes at Chicago-Kent. All of the other members of the team return to Chicago, where they live and are in school, or are holding down day jobs as bartenders and waiters.

Carter posts the movie on vimeo.com and YouTube, and it attracts frenzied fans by the tens of thousands.

Sayre and Eggleston hear about it, watch it, and each decides to sue Carter for copyright infringement.

1.   Sayre files a civil action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. If you represent Carter, do you have a meritorious objection to venue? If you represent Sayre, what counterarguments would you make?

2.   Eggleston files a civil action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois (which includes East St. Louis). If you represent Carter, do you have a meritorious objection to venue? If you represent Eggleston, what counterarguments would you make?

3.   To be safe, Sayre and Eggleston file a joint civil action against Carter in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, which includes Baxter County, where Mountain Home is the county seat. If you represent Carter, do you have a meritorious objection to venue? If you represent Sayre or Eggleston, what counterarguments would you make?

4.   Eggleston has a vacation home in Saugatuck, MI. She files a civil action against Carter in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, which includes Saugatuck. She learns that Carter is planning a road trip from Chicago to Ann Arbor on I-94. She stakes out all the rest stops with duly authorized process servers and serves Carter with the summons and complaint when he stops for some coffee at the I-94 Rest Area 33 mm Eastbound, northeast of Benton Harbor. If you represent Carter, do you have a meritorious objection to venue? If you represent Eggleston, what counterarguments would you make?

5.   If Sayre and Eggleston want to file a separate state-court action in Illinois for intentional infliction of emotional distress, where would venue be good?