Consumer Class Action after Cafa
56 Law Review Drake 303, March 2008
37 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2011
Date Written: March 24, 2008
The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) became the law of the land on February 18, 2005.1 The legislation ushered in a consumer bill of rights and greatly expanded federal diversity jurisdiction over class actions.2 However, the extent of CAFA’s reach into the field of consumer class actions is far from certain. Judicial wrangling over CAFA’s interpretation has left the door open for many possible scenarios, including those that may be positive for plaintiffs. In all likelihood, CAFA will facilitate consumer class actions over the long term because CAFA has given federal courts a strong mandate to capture the benefits of beneficial class actions.
This Article examines CAFA’s likely impact on consumer class actions. Part II discusses the changes brought by CAFA, emphasizing its effect on settlements and the expansion of federal jurisdiction over class actions. Part III briefly discusses the powerful forces behind CAFA, which, fortunately, failed to corrupt CAFA. Part IV outlines the hottest issues regarding CAFA’s judicial interpretation, including the latest case law and analysis. Finally, this Article argues for a shift in federal jurisprudence that will result in increased certification of consumer class actions in federal courts.
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