Living in CAFA's World

30 Pages Posted: 14 May 2013 Last revised: 27 Feb 2014

Date Written: May 13, 2013


This Article, prepared for a conference on the Class Action Fairness Act, examines the effect of CAFA on our understanding about the benefits and drawbacks of class actions. The Article describes the vision of class actions that imbues CAFA, and demonstrates how many subsequent developments in the law of class actions — including the Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, and Shady Grove Orthopedics v. Allstate Insurance — have advanced CAFA’s restrictive vision about the role of class actions in modern American litigation. The Article demonstrates that competing visions about the role of class actions lack the broad reach or intuitive appeal of CAFA’s vision. It then suggests that, if the class action is to become a less disfavored procedural device, a more compelling competing vision for class actions must develop. It concludes by suggesting one such vision: class actions should be certified only when they are superior to all other forms for resolving disputes.

Keywords: class actions, complex litigation, class arbitration, Class Action Fairness Act

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Tidmarsh, Jay, Living in CAFA's World (May 13, 2013). University of Texas School of Law, Review of Litigation, Vol. 32 Symposium Issue, Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1324, Available at SSRN:

Jay Tidmarsh (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0399
United States
574-631-6985 (Phone)
574-631-4197 (Fax)

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