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A “forum selection clause” is a portion of a contract that specifies where a particular dispute will be litigated. Sometimes these clauses are enforceable. Other times they are not.

The Holland America forum selection clause–which makes Seattle the exclusive place to litigate Holland America passenger injury claims–is enforceable. If suit is filed outside the Western District of Washington (at Seattle) the case will be dismissed.

However, there is a more favorable body of law relating to forum selection clauses in employment contracts. The Jones Act works to invalidate some of these provisions. But not all of them.

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