A plaintiff must decide whether to file the lawsuit in state court or federal court. Lawsuits in state court often take much longer than in federal court. Federal judges are often more predictable than state court judges.
Lawsuits may be filed in Federal Court if they involve “federal issues” such as federal securities law, ADA claims, and federal trademark, copyright or patent law.
Lawsuits involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, conversion, negligence, attorney malpractice, unlawful detainer, and breach of fiduciary duty typically involve “state law issues” and must be filed in state court.
An exception exists where a plaintiff has a state law claim, but the defendant or defendants live in a state different from the plaintiff. If that is the case, the plaintiff may file the lawsuit in federal court, but only if the amount of money in dispute exceeds $75,000.00.
In a situation where a lawsuit involves both state and federal claims, the plaintiff may file in state or federal court. However, if the plaintiff files the lawsuit in state court, the defendant has the right to “remove” or transfer the lawsuit to the federal court.