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A Second Bite at the Apple? CAFA Jurisdiction After Class Certification Denial

2/4/2014 | Article

By Steven P. Benenson and John T. Chester

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) expanded federal jurisdiction over class actions by granting district courts original jurisdiction over putative class actions in which minimal (rather than complete) diversity exists and the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.See 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (d)(2). CAFA defines “class action” as “any civil action filed under [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23] or similar State statute or rule . . . .” Id. at (d)(1)(B). The claims of individual class members are aggregated to determine whether the amount in controversy exceeds the CAFA jurisdictional threshold. Id. at (d)(6). By enacting CAFA, “Congress sought to check what it considered to be the overreadiness of some state courts to certify class actions.” Shady Grove Orthopedic Assocs., P.A. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 130 S.Ct. 1431, 1473 (2010) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (citing CAFA’s legislative history).

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