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

Really Hot Off the Press Now: New Law Review article Analyzes and Answers Hot CAFA question – Who Bears Burden of Proving Whether Minimal Diversity Jurisdiction Exists?

Posted in Legal Publications and Articles

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, 25 Miss. C. L. Rev. 7 (2005).

Over the sound of chestnuts roasting over an open fire, you can hear the sizzle of the blazing law review article that answers the hot question of who bears the burden of proving Minimal Diversity jurisdiction.  We gave you a sneak peek on this law review article back on May 5, 2006.  Now the article has been published.

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.

Bottom Line:  This is "the" discussion of jurisdictional burden of proof for Minimal Diversity under CAFA.  You will want to put down the eggnog to read this one.