Blog Archives

When Plaintiffs Fail to Plead the “Local Controversy” Exception to CAFA

A narrow exception to CAFA’s broad removal provisions is the “local controversy” exception, which prohibits removal in certain cases where the dispute is deemed sufficiently contained within the forum state that the interests of the state’s courts in adjudicating the

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CAFA Removal: A Second Bite at the Apple?

Until a couple of years ago, plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to keep their class actions in state court would frequently stipulate that they would not seek damages in excess of the $5 million CAFA threshold.  This practice fell by the wayside

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CAFA Removal Jurisdiction: Using a Plaintiff’s Complaint Against It

Most cases involving the existence of removal jurisdiction under CAFA involve the $5 million amount in controversy.  In a recent Third Circuit opinion, determining whether or not the putative class had the requisite 100 members proved equally complex.  The case

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Supreme Court: CAFA’s “Mass Action” Provision Does Not Apply to Lawsuits By States

The Supreme Court today unanimously held that a state’s lawsuit on behalf of its injured citizens cannot be removed to federal court under the “mass action” provision of the Class Action Fairness Act. In Mississippi v. AU Optronics Corp., the

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“Picking Off” the Named Plaintiff Can Stop a Class Action–in Some Circuits

An occasionally effective strategy among class action defense counsel is to try to settle with the named plaintiff(s) before the class can be certified.  While plaintiffs’ counsel will ordinarily be unreceptive to such an attempt—and can usually find a substitute

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When Do Multiple State Court Actions Become a Removable “Mass Action”?

Under the Class Action Fairness Action of 2005, defendants may remove certain class actions to federal court if they meet the definition of “mass actions.” To qualify as a “mass action,” a lawsuit must involve “monetary relief claims of 100

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Ninth Circuit: Defendants Can Remove Without Waiting for Triggering Pleading

Since the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 lightened the burden for defendants seeking to remove class actions to federal court, there have been ample cases involving gamesmanship over the amount in controversy. A related question has arisen: If a

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Video Interview: Discussing Standard Fire v. Knowles with LXBN TV

Following up on my recent post on the case, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Standard Fire v. Knowles. In the brief interview, I explain the background of the

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Supreme Court: Damages Stipulation Does Not Defeat CAFA Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court held today that a named class plaintiff’s pre-certification stipulation that the class will seek less than $5 million in damages does not defeat federal diversity jurisdiction under CAFA. In Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, a unanimous

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Supreme Court Update: 2013 Could Be a High-Water Mark for Class Action Developments

The 2012-13 Supreme Court term has been a hotbed of class action activity, with the justices set to decide at least half a dozen cases that will directly affect class action litigation. Although none of this term’s decisions is likely

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