The Court takes notice of the fact that the use of discovery techniques such as videotaped depositions can make demeanor evidence available to a jury even when witnesses are not physically present at trial. See Sugarloaf Associates v. Unity Savings Assn., No. 82-0811, slip op. at 6 (E.D. Pa. October 28, 1982). The Court also takes notice of the fact that those officials and witnesses whom the plaintiffs have identified who reside in Washington, D.C. or its environs are not subject to subpoena from this district under Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(e) (1). In addition, the Court has grave doubts whether officials of Trinidad and Tobago could, as plaintiffs aver, be subpoenaed through the country's consulate in New York, since Rule 45 (e) (2) and 28 U.S.C. § 1783 which it incorporates authorize service only on nationals and residents of the United States who are in a foreign country. The Rule "has never been read as permitting issuance of a subpoena to an alien residing outside the United States." Federal Trade Commission v. Compagnie de Saint-Gobain-Pont-A-Mousson, 205 U.S. App. D.C. 172, 636 F.2d 1300, 1320-21 n.116 (D.C. Cir. 1980) (emphasis in original).
The existence of a related action in the transferor or transferee district is a strong factor in a transfer decision where judicial economy can be achieved and duplicative litigation, with possibly inconsistent results, avoided by consolidation of actions, or by coordination of discovery and other pre-trial proceedings. Austin v. Johns-Manville Corp., 524 F. Supp. 1166, 1169 (E.D. Pa. 1981); Blender v. Sibley, 396 F. Supp. at 304-05, See Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 644, 84 S. Ct. 805, 823, 11 L. Ed. 2d 945 (1964). Defendants have in this case suggested that we consider the action of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in transferring several similar cases to Texas four years ago. See In re Commonwealth Oil/Tesoro Securities Litigation, 458 F. Supp. 225 (J.P.M.L. 1978). While we have considered the Judicial Panel's action, we note that defendants have not indicated that those cases are still pending, nor have defendants shown that those cases are closely enough related to the present action that economies could result from transferring this action to Texas. This factor has therefore been given little weight.
Finally, while the Court recognizes that the relative bargaining power and financial positions of the parties can be a significant factor in a transfer decision, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. v. Dolby, 531 F. Supp. 511 (E.D. Pa. 1982); Aamco Automobile Transmissions, Inc. v. Bosemer, 374 F. Supp. 754 (E.D. Pa. 1974), this factor cannot alone prevent a transfer where the convenience of the parties and witnesses and the interests of justice clearly favor transfer. It should be noted that the named plaintiffs, if successful, should be able to recover fees and costs from any fund created by settlement or judgment in the plaintiffs' favor. Boeing Co. v. Van Gemert, 444 U.S. 472, 478, 100 S. Ct. 745, 749, 62 L. Ed. 2d 676 (1980). Further, the plaintiff class may also be able to recover these fees and costs from the defendants. 15 U.S.C. § 77k. The Court also notes that, given the presence of two named plaintiffs in Texas, the argument that litigation there will prove more costly to the plaintiffs may reduce finally to the argument that such litigation will be inconvenient to plaintiffs' chosen counsel. While plaintiffs do have the option of choosing an inconvenient forum in order to obtain counsel of their choice, Austin v. Johns-Manville Corp., 524 F. Supp. at 1169, plaintiffs' choice here has been outweighed by the inconvenience demonstrated by defendants. Further, there is no allegation or averment that plaintiffs will be deprived of chosen counsel should this case be transferred.
Finally, with respect to the public interest factors involved in transfer, it should be noted that transfer of this case should allow for the resolution in a local forum of matters which appear to have occurred largely in Texas.
For all of the above reasons, defendant's motion to transfer this case to the Western District of Texas is GRANTED. An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 2nd day of November, 1982, upon consideration of defendant Tesoro Petroleum Corporation's motion to transfer these actions to the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, and of plaintiffs' opposition thereto, and upon consideration of the supporting affidavits and the record and filings in this case.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. That the motion to transfer is GRANTED.
2. That the Clerk of this Court transfer forthwith the record of these cases to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.