Edward & Marjorie Austin Unitrust v. U.S. Mort. Corp., No. 2:06-cv-01235, 2007 WL 2886036 (D.Nev. Sept. 27, 2007).
Well, we’re not real sure if this all went down at Binnion’s, at the Rio, or at Caesars, but that’s not what is important, now is it? (No, we are not talking about Britney Spears flashing her private parts…not that they are all that private anymore. Besides, she hangs out at The Palms.) What is important is that the CAFA law blog had representatives who did witness the “all-in” bet that went terribly “all wrong.” Take it away gentlemen:
Big Tall Army Guy: Sir, we have the final two combatants, Sir!
Generalissimo: I swear B-TAG, you are about as stiff as an Abrams tank turret. You do realize that your job title is “color” commentator, don’t you?
B-TAG: Affirmative, Sir!
Generalissimo: So what B-TAG was so eloquently trying to say was that the action has been non-stop at this year’s World Series of Litigation. At this moment, we have whittled down the field of litigants, and the final table is set. Our final two competitors, the Edward & Marjorie purported plaintiffs class on the one hand and the U.S. Mortgage Corporation defendant class on the other hand, are at the final table (the U.S. District Court of Nevada). B-TAG, tell our reading audience about this year’s grand prize.
B-TAG: Prizes, Sir! Good stuff, Sir! Maybe even plastic army men, Sir!
Generalissimo: Right. Anyway, is it the millions of dollars that previous final table victors had come to expect? No indeed.
Is it that elusive bracelet that haunts so many of the grizzled vets and on-line junkies? Not so much.
This year’s prize is the continuation of a class action. As we speak, the plaintiff class has pushed all-in, and the Defendants have called the bet, seeking to end this litigation tournament with a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction. That is one helluva gamble, right B-TAG?
B-TAG: Sir, yes Sir! This could end the litigation, Sir!
Generalissimo: Well, as it appears that B-TAG still hasn’t grasped the contours of color commentary, I’ll handle both the color and the play-by-play.
The plaintiffs’ dealt hand, over 2/3 of the original proposed plaintiff class members were Nevada citizens. The defendants’ hand, all members were Nevada corporations. Action went first to the plaintiffs who bet by filing suit. The defendants raised, filing an objection that federal jurisdiction was lacking under CAFA’s home-state controversy. The plaintiffs called that bet, going all-in and presenting an amended list of potential plaintiffs, purportedly showing fewer than 2/3 of the participants were Nevada citizens, and that is where we stand. B-TAG, anything?
B-TAG: Would you like me to give the readers the statistical probabilities of each party winning, Sir? Maybe I could give them references to CAFA precedents, Sir?
Generalissimo: Uhhm, how about no, Mr. Firecracker. Anyway, here comes the flop … and it is … it is … WOW! The Defendants gamble paid off. How you ask? Was it a straight? A flush? A full-house? Sort-of, the house (here the Court) exercised its discretion and decided that the “discretionary home-state controversy” exception under CAFA applied. The Court completely side-stepped the “home-state controversy argument,” and instead reasoned that, conservatively, between 1/3 and 2/3 of the proposed class were Nevada citizens and the interests of justice compelled declining the exercise of federal jurisdiction. The Court considered that the litigants were predominantly Nevada citizens, the claims were state law claims, and the case had little or no national interests. Another exciting CAFA ruling.
Any parting shots B-TAG?
B-TAG: Sir, very exciting, Sir! More exciting than tank drills, Sir!
Generalissimo: You see what I have to work with here? It’s a wonder anyone ever reads this thing with all of this imagination at our fingertips.