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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Barry Rogers

Though I think the ruling in Knowles is neither outrageous or unexpected, I think both of Mr. Goldfarb's points are wrong. First, the Eighth Circuit -- and a number of other federal courts -- accepted the idea that the plaintiff could seek less than the jurisdictional amount, and those courts are hardly associated with the antics in Madison County. Second, allowing plaintiffs to keep cases out of federal court by stipulating to less than the jurisdictional amount would not have been tantamount to repeal of the law. It would narrow CAFA's reach to some degree. But, in most large class cases, plaintiffs would not downsize their recoveries that drastically. In fact, there's no evidence that plaintiffs' lawyers were using this technique in a large number of cases. They were using it rarely because in most cases it made sense to seek well in excess of $5 million.

Lew Goldfarb

This was a no brainer for the Supremes. Not even a Madison County Court would have allowed this end run around CAFA. A ruling for plaintiffs would have been tantamount to repeal of the law.

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