The blogosphere is humming (figuratively speaking) with the news of the Eleventh Circuit decision on Monday, July 19th in the Cappuccitti v. DirecTV litigation. The CAFA Law Blog has already posted a copy of the decision and a synopsis of the facts. We’re working feverishly on some other posts with our critique of the decision and its possible effects on class action practice, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we’re going to share some of buzz from Around the Blogosphere with you. Here’s a teaser from Carlton Fields’ Class Action Blog:
Yesterday, July 19, 2010, a three judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit issued Cappuccitti v. DirecTV, Inc., No. 09-14107 (11th Cir. July 19, 2010), a decision on the requirements of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) that injected mass confusion in Eleventh Circuit jurisprudence. For the first time, the panel ruled that class actions filed in federal court must satisfy the general diversity requirement that a plaintiff have $75,000 in controversy, along with the specific requirements of CAFA that minimal diversity be satisfied and an aggregate of $5 million for the entire putative class be in controversy.
The panel relied on cases construing the “mass action” portion of CAFA to reach its conclusion, even though a mass action is fundamentally distinct from a class action and contains separate requirements for federal court jurisdiction to be present. To our knowledge, no other court in the country has reached this conclusion outside the mass action context.
It is unclear from the decision whether the court intended its rationale to apply to diversity class actions removed to federal court as well as class actions originally filed in federal court by a plaintiff. There appears to be no basis in the decision for not applying the court’s rationale to removed cases.