Lis Pendens Rule

Latin term for a rule that, in principle, precludes one court from considering a case (lis) that is already pending before another court that also has proper jurisdiction over the matter. Lis Pendens can be based on principles of judicial comity (harmony) or alternately on actual strict rules such as Article 19 of the Brussels Convention, which typically applies between EU member state courts, or in the United States, State, and Federal civil procedure rules. The purpose of the rule is to try to avoid the proliferation of litigation or contradictory rulings on the same case. The principle of Lis Pendens can drive a forum shopping race to court in intellectual property cases, with accused infringers seeking to file declaratory judgment cases before an infringement suit is filed.