Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The Model Choice of Forum Act, promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in 1968, was designed to set standards for the effectuation of contractual forum-selecting clauses, sometimes called "derogation" or "prorogation" clauses, while restricting their effectiveness to situations in which their operation would be fair to all concerned parties. The Commissioners chose not to draft the statute as a Uniform Act to be recommended for adoption by all the states, but rather as a Model Act setting out sound standards that might be followed not only by states drafting their own statutes on the subject but even by courts establishing common law rules affecting such contractual arrangements. It was the latter effect that was given to the Model Act in Chief Justice Burger's majority opinion in The Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., sustaining a forum-selecting clause in a maritime contract but announcing limitations beyond which choice-of-forum clauses would not be enforced.