41 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2008 Last revised: 30 Sep 2008
The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) reflected a profound mistrust of class action lawyers. Three years after its enactment, examination of lawyers' adaptation strategies offers an emerging picture of the statute's impact on class actions and class action lawyers. CAFA, like the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act a decade earlier, shifted class action practice in ways that appear likely to strengthen the upper tier of the plaintiff class action bar. CAFA has affected not only the division of labor between state and federal court, but also horizontal forum selection among federal courts and class action claim selection. Analysis of these effects suggests that CAFA is achieving some of its stated objectives but is unlikely to squelch class actions or to disempower leading members of the class action bar.
Keywords: Class Action Fairness Act, CAFA, class actions, forum selection, forum shopping, Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, PSLRA, subject matter jurisdiction
JEL Classification: K40, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Erichson, Howard M., CAFA's Impact on Class Action Lawyers. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 156, pp. 1593-1627, 2008; Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1083819; Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 1083819. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1083819