Although Hertz v. Friend may be a win for corporate defendants seeking to remove class actions to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, attorney Robert J. Stein III, a partner at Adorno & Yoss and counsel for the plaintiffs, believes the opinion may add to the already overburdened federal docket.
“One thing you will get out of this opinion, especially in the 9th Circuit, is more cases in federal court that have basically been state-court disputes in the past,” Stein says.
And that, he says, will create undue expenses for both parties since federal court is generally, although not always, more expensive.
Although Stein agrees that from a policy standpoint, the nerve-center test makes more sense than other, more complex tests, he would have preferred the rule change come from Congress rather than the bench.
“I’m old-fashioned, so I tend to stick more to congressional intent, and I think a better opinion would have been to adhere more closely with this intent,” Stein says. “That’s why, I believe it should have been Congress and not the Supreme Court to make this fix.”