Apr 1, 2013


On March 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, a closely watched case under the federal Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”).  CAFA gives federal district courts jurisdiction over proposed class action cases in which, among other things, the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million in aggregate.  CAFA was enacted in 2005 to allow defendants facing a proposed class action to remove the case, under certain circumstances, from state court to the more “friendly” venue of federal court.  In Knowles, the proposed plaintiff class representative (and the plaintiffs’ law… Read more

Mar 20, 2013

The Supreme Court Removes a Limit on Federal Court Jurisdiction Over Class Actions

In Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, Case No. 11-1450 (decided Mar. 19, 2013), the United States Supreme Court removed a potential limit on the jurisdiction of federal courts over class actions.  The Court held that a potential class representative could not attempt to stipulate to the recovery of a lesser amount of damages in order to avoid hitting the threshold for a federal court’s exercising jurisdiction over the class action.  The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) gives federal courts jurisdiction over class actions in which there is minimal diversity between the parties (one plaintiff and one defendants… Read more