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Shannon McClure, left, and Alyssa Conn, right. Shannon McClure, left, and Alyssa Conn, right, of Reed Smith.

You’ve just received a call that a defendant has filed third-party class action counterclaims against your client in state court. Your client wants to remove the claims against it to federal court, in order to benefit from the direct attention and case management that a federal court provides. You know that an original plaintiff may not remove a counterclaim against it, but what about a third-party counterclaim defendant? Does a “defendant” under the removal statute mean a third-party counterclaim defendant? Does “any defendant” under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) truly mean any defendant? According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the answer, in all of these questions, is no.

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