Gregory P. Joseph*
2005 featured dramatic changes in federal jurisdiction effected by the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, Pub. L. 109-2 (‛CAFA“) and the United States Supreme Court decisions in Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., 125 S.Ct. 2611 (2005) (‛Exxon Mobil“), and Grable & Sons Metal Prods., Inc. v. Darue Engr’g & Mfg., 125 S.Ct. 2363 (2005) (‛Grable“). This article explores the impact of CAFA, Exxon Mobil and Grable on federal jurisdictional principles governing class actions.
I. The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
CAFA affects class action practice, primarily in four ways:
A. Expansion of Federal Jurisdiction over Class Actions and Mass Actions
The heart of CAFA is its expansion of federal diversity jurisdiction. Section 4 of CAFA inserts a new 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), which, with a few limited exceptions, confers federal jurisdiction over any class action if: (i) the claims of all plaintiffs, aggregated together, exceed $5 million, and (ii) at least one plaintiff is diverse from at least one defendant. See § 1332(d)(2) and (6).
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