CAFA's Impact on Class Action Lawyers

41 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2008 Last revised: 30 Sep 2008

Howard M. Erichson

Fordham University School of Law

Abstract

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

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

Howard M. Erichson (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
646-312-8233 (Phone)

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