CAFA Law Blog Editors Hunter Twiford, Anthony Rollo and John Rouse have written a law review article scheduled for publication in the Spring 2006 edition of the Mississippi College Law Review entitled “CAFA’s New ‘Minimal Diversity’ Standard For Interstate Class Actions Creates A Presumption That Jurisdiction Exists, With The Burden Of Proof Assigned To The Party Opposing Jurisdiction.” The entire article is now available to CAFA Law Blog readers, pre-publication, here. The authors’ extensive analysis concludes that, correctly interpreted, the Class Action Fairness Act’s text, purposes, and legislative history create a presumption in favor of finding that Minimal Diversity Jurisdiction exists in interstate class actions, with the burden of proof on the party opposing jurisdiction.
This in-depth article explains why Congress intended to switch the jurisdictional burden of proof standard for Minimal Diversity under CAFA from the pre-existing rule governing Complete Diversity – which is restrictive, and places the burden of proof on the proponent of federal jurisdiction – because the purposes behind these two jurisdictional enabling statutes are not only different, but are, in fact, opposite. While the courts have split on this question, the authors describe why they believe that Brill, Abrego and similar decisions which hold to the contrary are decided incorrectly. Among other things, each of these courts, the authors note, have completely overlooked Section 2 of CAFA’s text, “Findings and Purposes,” in their burden of proof analyses.
Prior to publication in the law review, this article may be cited as follows: H. Hunter Twiford, III, Anthony Rollo & John T. Rouse, CAFA’s New “Minimal Diversity” Standard For Interstate Class Actions Creates A Presumption That Jurisdiction Exists, With The Burden of Proof Assigned To The Party Opposing Jurisdiction, Miss. C.L. Rev. (forthcoming Spring 2006), available at http://www.mcglinchey.com/images/pdf/intE11.DOC.