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CAFA Law Blog Information, cases and insights regarding the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005

Around the Blogosphere: Commentary on Recent CAFA Decision (Cappuccitti v. DirecTV)

Posted in Around the Blogosphere

We told you this case was a big deal, and predicted that it would attract attention all over the country (no major crystal ball required for that prediction).  We also told you that the CAFA Law Blog would try to bring you information on what was going on around the blogosphere about the Cappuccitti v. DirecTV Eleventh Circuit decision, and in keeping with that commitment, here’s a commentary from Professor Adam Steinman of Seton Hall University School of Law with his thoughts on the “puzzling” decision rendered in Cappuccitti:

Commentary on Recent CAFA Decision (Cappuccitti v. DirecTV)

Last week the Eleventh Circuit issued a very significant (though a bit puzzling) decision on the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The case is Cappuccitti v. DirecTV, Inc., No. 09-14107,  ___ F.3d ___, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 14724, 2010 WL 2803093 (11th Cir. July 19, 2010), covered earlier here. One of CAFA’s most significant changes was an amendment to the diversity jurisdiction statute, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d), to authorize federal diversity jurisdiction over class actions for which there is (a) minimal diversity between the parties, and (b) an aggregate amount in controversy in excess of $5,000,000. Neither party in Cappuccitti disputed that federal subject matter jurisdiction was proper under § 1332(d); DirecTV’s appeal challenged only the district court’s refusal to compel arbitration. But the Eleventh Circuit raised the jurisdictional issue sua sponte and dismissed the case entirely. It held that even if a class action’s aggregate amount-in-controversy exceeds $5,000,000, CAFA jurisdiction applies only if at least one class member’s claim exceeds the $75,000 threshold that applies for ordinary diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). [Read the rest of the post here.]