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david mcdowellOn February 18, 2005, President Bush signed the Class Action Fairness Act into law. The asserted purposes of the Act are to reduce frivolous class action lawsuits, decrease forum shopping and curb class settlements that provide significant fees to class counsel, with marginal benefits to class members. The Act facilitates the removal of large, multi-state class actions from state to federal court. Complete diversity of citizenship between plaintiffs and defendants will no longer be required for federal court jurisdiction over certain high-stakes, multi-state class actions based upon state law. It also applies stricter scrutiny to coupon settlements and, in particular, to fee awards based upon coupon settlements.

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