Visiting Mexico, and Civil Procedure: part 4 of 4

Welcome to part 4 of this series! To recap, part 3 showed photos from traveling in Mazatlan, Mexico, and also began a discussion about the role that venue plays in determining where a court case will be heard.

In Part 4; for the legal part of this post, I will finish the discussion about venue. Then, in the travel part of this post, I will show some photos from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

For the legal part:

In Part 3, I left off with a promise to further discuss how venue might be determined in a lawsuit where the parties are from different states. One way to determine venue, is that venue is proper for a court if the court is in a state where a substantial part of the events giving rise to the lawsuit took place.

I will illustrate the above rule with an example. Let’s say that a lawsuit happens because of an accident that occurred in a single location in Utah. In that case, venue is proper in Utah.

However, let’s say that it’s a little more complicated: A plaintiff got their car repaired in Colorado, and then drove back home to Utah. Shortly after arriving back in Utah, the plaintiff got into an accident. The plaintiff claims that the accident occurred because the Colorado repair shop did a defective repair job on their car. There are arguments for venue in either Colorado or in Utah in this scenario, because important events leading to the lawsuit took place in each state. The car repair took place in Colorado, and the resulting accident occurred in Utah. Both sets of events are therefore substantial in this case.

Witnesses and evidence are also likely to be located in both states. Each party will probably also hire an attorney from their own state.

Therefore, either a Colorado court or a Utah court could have proper venue in this scenario. If a party files suit in one state, and the other party challenges venue, that court must make a fact-specific determination as to venue.

However, the Colorado defendant must still be subject to personal jurisdiction in the court which hears the case. The defendant is certainly subject to personal jurisdiction in Colorado. However, in order to be subject to personal jurisdiction in Utah, the defendant would need to meet the minimum contacts test, as discussed in parts 1 and 2. Accordingly, this case would probably ultimately be heard in Colorado, if a venue challenge was raised.

Now, turning to the travel part of this post, and Cabo!

Our fourth stop in Mexico – last but certainly not least – was Cabo San Lucas, also known as the waterpark of the world. We visited art galleries in the area; and enjoyed seeing a rare blend of haunting desert landscape, and coastline with sparkling blue waters:

Beach views in Cabo
Glass art at the Glass Factory in Cabo
Huichol art at Huichol Art Gallery in Cabo San Jose.
Sacred Gardens in Cabo

Cabo San Lucas – as well as Cabo San Jose, its suburb – are rapidly growing areas, with many similar growing pains as the Bay Area has (in terms of rising housing costs, and increased traffic). Builders in Cabo are required to preserve at least 40% of developed land as green space. Along highways, median barriers and roundabout islands are chock full of trees and plants. People here are creative and resourceful in finding ways to add more green, and to maintain Cabo’s natural beauty even with a rapidly growing population.

After Cabo San Lucas, it was time to sail back to San Francisco.V

As always, dear readers, thank you for following me. I hope you enjoyed this, and learned something valuable.

** Got a legal subject or question you are curious about? Email it to me at Your question may be discussed in a future blog post!

Please note that the above is offered for educational purposes, and as a means of encouraging intellectual curiosity about the law. The information presented may not take into account every exception, variation, or complication which could apply to someone’s legal matters. Accordingly, nothing in this post or blog is ever intended as, nor should be construed by or relied upon by anyone, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney who can give you assistance specific to your needs.


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