A determination of whether venue is proper for a civil action commenced in federal court requires the application of the rules set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1391 to the facts of the particular case. Making such a determination has often proved difficult for litigants and courts alike because the basic rules governing venue for civil actions brought in federal courts set forth in section 1391 are not without ambiguity. Section 1391(b), for example, provides in part that "[a] civil action. .. may be brought only in the judicial district. . . in which the claim arose." The language of this subsection clearly allows both the narrow reading that a claim could arise in only one district, and the more expansive reading that a claim could arise in more than one district.

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