A trial is a long way off for a climate-change suit brought by the city of Hoboken against the nation’s biggest oil companies, but the current wrangling over the proper venue could be decisive in picking a winner, some experts said.

The suit—in which Hoboken sued ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Conoco Phillips, BP America, Chevron, Shell and the American Petroleum Institute under a public nuisance theory of liability—accuses the defendants of efforts to mislead the public about the cause of climate change.