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Tag Archives: Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles

Supreme Court May Clarify Procedures For Removal Under CAFA—If It Decides To Answer The Question Presented in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens

Posted in Motions Practice, U.S. Supreme Court

This morning I attended oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens.  The issue presented in Dart Cherokee is whether a defendant who wishes to remove a case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is required to submit evidence supporting federal jurisdiction along with the… Continue Reading

Will the En Banc Ninth Circuit Clarify When a Subdivided Mass Action Can Be Removed Under CAFA?

Posted in Motions Practice

We’ve blogged before about plaintiffs’ attempts to circumvent the “mass action” provisions in the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), which  allow defendants to remove to federal court certain cases raising “claims of 100 or more persons that are proposed to be tried jointly.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B)(i). To evade removal, creative plaintiffs’ lawyers… Continue Reading

Can Plaintiffs Gerrymander Mass Actions to Avoid Federal Jurisdiction?

Posted in Motions Practice, Uncategorized

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) provides that defendants may remove certain mass actions—cases that are proposed to be tried jointly—so long as the aggregate amount at stake is at least $5 million and there are 100 or more plaintiffs in the case. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11). But what if plaintiffs’ counsel try… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Plaintiffs’ Efforts To Avoid Federal Jurisdiction By “Stipulating” To Limit Class Recoveries To Under $5 Million

Posted in U.S. Supreme Court

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, No. 11-1450, that should make it a lot harder for plaintiffs and their counsel to avoid federal-court jurisdiction over significant class actions. The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 authorizes the removal of class actions to federal court when,… Continue Reading

Can Plaintiffs Evade The FDCPA’s Cap on Total Statutory Damages in a Class Action by Filing Multiple, Gerrymandered Class Actions?

Posted in Class Certification, Motions Practice, Superiority

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which regulates the conduct of debt collectors, authorizes plaintiffs suing over violations to recover statutory damages of up to $1,000. Because these amounts can rapidly add up to exorbitant numbers in a class action for very minor, technical violations, Congress capped the total amount of statutory damages that… Continue Reading

CAFA Showdown in the Supreme Court: Today’s Oral Argument In Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles

Posted in U.S. Supreme Court

This morning I attended the oral argument before the Supreme Court in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, the first major case in which the Court will address the provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA).   For class-action lawyers on both sides, this case has been seven years in the making.   From… Continue Reading

Do Class Counsel Owe Fiduciary Duties to Absent Class Members Before Class Certification (and Should Defendants Care)?

Posted in Adequacy, Class Action Trends, Class Certification

According to an interesting student note that will soon be published in the Stanford Law Review, the answer to both questions is “yes.” Specifically, the would-be class counsel must “protect[] the substantive legal rights of putative class members . . . from prejudice” “resulting from the actions of class counsel.” The implications for defendants opposing… Continue Reading

National Law Journal and Forbes Highlight Supreme Court’s Focus on Class Actions in Upcoming Term

Posted in U.S. Supreme Court

Today, Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal and Daniel Fisher of Forbes each published previews of the just-commenced Supreme Court term that mention the three cases scheduled for argument that involve issues near and dear to the hearts of class-action practitioners: Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, and Amgen v…. Continue Reading

Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles: Supreme Court To Decide Whether Plaintiffs May Evade Federal Jurisdiction Under CAFA By Stipulating That They Seek Less Than $5 Million In Damages

Posted in Motions Practice, U.S. Supreme Court

The first question my colleagues and I ask when a client has been sued in a class action in state court is whether the case can be removed to federal court. Often, the only ticket out of state court is the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), which authorizes removal of certain mass and… Continue Reading