The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4, famously created new federal original jurisdiction for class actions, as well as new special removal provisions for class actions filed in state court. To date, CAFA controversies have focused on burdens of establishing original and removal jurisdiction, retroactivity issues and CAFA’s $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement.
Buried deep in CAFA’s convoluted statutory scheme is a set of sleeper provisions that have nothing to do with class action litigation. Rather, these provisions permit removal of “mass actions,” an altogether new concept in federal civil procedure. It was only a matter of time before an enterprising defendant turned to CAFA’s “mass action” provisions to remove a state case into federal court, thereby inspiring an array of legal questions of first impression.
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