Cases & Deals

National Association of Manufacturers' amicus curiae brief in U.S. Supreme Court urges new interpretation of Class Action Fairness Act

Clients National Association of Manufacturers

On October 29, 2012, Jones Day filed a U.S. Supreme Court amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers urging a significant new interpretation of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The Supreme Court granted certiorari on August 31, 2012.

As explained in the brief, the limitations that CAFA places on the federal courts' exercise of original jurisdiction over class actions -- including requirements of at least 100 claimants and an aggregate amount-in-controversy of at least $5 million -- do not apply to CAFA's separate provision authorizing removal of class actions from state to federal court.  Although CAFA became law in 2005, no defendant appears to have made this argument in court to date, and courts across the country have simply assumed that CAFA's requirements for original jurisdiction apply to the separate CAFA provision governing removal jurisdiction. If the Supreme Court accepts Jones Day's reading of CAFA, defendants in most class actions filed in state court could choose to remove their cases to federal court.

The Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Greg Knowles, No. 11-1450 (U.S., October 29, 2012)