The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 substantially expands federal diversity jurisdiction over multistate class actions, including those filed by holders of oil and gas royalty interests.

The act accomplishes this by 1.) relaxing the diversity standard for the removal of specified class actions and 2.) aggregating plaintiffs’ monetary claims so as to meet the special amount-in-controversy requirement that is part of CAFA’s removal provisions. CAFA also provides for discretionary and mandatory denial of federal jurisdiction in specified circumstances, some of which may commonly arise in the oil and gas context.

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