Daniel R. Karon, How Do You Take Your Multi-State Class Action? One Lump Or Two? Infusing State Class Action Jurisprudence Into Federal, Multi-State, Class Certification Analyses In A “CAFA-Nated” World, 46 Santa Clara L. Rev. 567 (2006).
In this article out of the Santa Clara Law Review, Daniel Karon discusses whether “federal judges may rely on years of state class-action jurisprudence to decide class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 when considering multi-state, class action lawsuits alleging a single state law’s substantive application.” You may need to go heat up your coffee after unpacking that introductory sentence…or grab an espresso to get you through it, depending on your interests. The author brews his argument by introducing CAFA, exploring its effects on subject matter jurisdiction, discusses the “choice of law conundrum CAFA created,” and finally concludes that federal courts may draw upon state law decisions when analyzing certification under Rule 23. How he reaches that conclusion? Well you’ll just have to grab a cup, or pot, and imbibe this baby yourself.
Apparently the author experienced a bitter aftertaste after drinking from CAFA’s cup. He complains that CAFA arguably created more problems than it solved by introducing “multiple substantive, jurisdictional, and other theoretical challenges.” We are forced to ask rhetorically, what statute that actually changes the law doesn’t? But every CAFA connoisseur is entitled to his own opinion.
Bottom Line: The author provides some interesting thoughts on a subject that can potentially affect every multi-state class action – and if you are into an Erie-type analysis/discussion, you’ll be intoxicated by this one. The rest of us will have to put a little Wild Turkey in our coffee to get there.