Complex Litigation: The Cost of CAFA


Linda S Mullenix

National Law Journal


Commentary and analysis discussing the problem of the award of plaintiffs’ costs and fees after a defendant’s an unsuccessful attempt to remove a class action case from state court to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). CAFA provides for removal of state-based class action so to federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1453. If CAFA jurisdiction is not satisfied, the federal court may remand the removed case back to state court. The article discusses the emerging case law in CAFA cases where plaintiffs have sought attorneys’ fees after federal courts have granted remand to state court, especially in cases where the plaintiff believes that the removal was frivolous or vexatious. CAFA does not itself provide for an award of attorney fees; the provision for attorney fees must be found among the general removal provisions. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), or 28 U.S.C. § 1927. In CAFA cases, the Seventh Circuit has announced an “objectively reasonable” standard to attempted CAFA removals.

Full Citation

Linda S. Mullenix, The Cost of CAFA, National Law Journal, August 27, 2007, at 13.