Venue

Refers to the particular branch of a court where a case is brought. Thus in the United States for example, jurisdiction may lie in a whole state, but that state can be divided into districts, sometimes with multiple divisions, each with its own courthouses. The venue (and division) is the place of the suit. Different judges sit in different venues (and divisions) and jury pools vary, making venue as well as jurisdiction a key consideration in ‘forum shopping’

In the US federal court system, some courts allocate certain civil cases between divisions using a “wheel,” i.e., cases are allocated to courthouses by turn as they come in. Since several cases might be filed the same day, this can be a significant consideration. To take an example, the Eastern District of Virginia includes four courthouses and divisions, Alexandria, Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond. The first is essentially a suburb of Washington DC and has a urban-cosmopolitan liberal, heavily professional population, the second is considerably more southern, with a more rural, mostly white population as is Norfolk, while Richmond includes a large city with a high proportion of minorities. Thus the jury pool in each varies dramatically, which may impact litigation tried before juries in that division.