First To File Rule

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DEFINITION of 'First To File Rule'

A rule stating that whoever is the first to file suit is awarded their home courts. The first to file rule provides an advantage in that the litigator may be familiar with the judge/court, and will not have to incur any extra costs such as travel expenses, nor leave their home for the duration of the trial. The first to file rule is just a general rule. It is not law, and exceptions can be made.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'First To File Rule'

Often, a change of location can be made as per a request, however, you run the risk of offending the local court as well as impeding on another, perhaps more crowded court. This means that the trial may be put on hold and dealt with in the order it was received by the new court which could be a significant delay.

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