Model Trade Book Contract
Regardless of the place of its actual execution and performance, this Agreement shall be treated as though executed within the State of New York and shall be governed by New York laws, exclusive of its conflict of laws provisions. Any action or proceeding regarding this Agreement or the Work shall be brought solely in the New York courts (state or federal) in New York County.
This section provides that any court, no matter the jurisdiction, will use New York law to decide a dispute between the parties. This may be beneficial given that many publishing disputes have been decided by New York courts in favor of the author. However, it is unlikely that you would be able to convince a publisher to alter this provision if its contract already stipulates that another state's laws are to govern the agreement. Most publishers' standard contracts will also provide that a court in New York (or wherever the publisher's offices are) will have jurisdiction over any dispute. If you reside in another state, bringing or defending a lawsuit far from home will be especially difficult and costly, but it will be hard to change this clause.