Sarah S. Vance, A Primer On The Class Action Fairness Act Of 2005, 80 Tul. L. Rev. 1617 (2006).
Of all the articles that have come across this CAFA Law Blog Editor’s desk/screen since our Founding Editor Anthony Rollo’s article entitled "The Newly Enacted Class Action Fairness Act" introduced the legal world to CAFA in March of 2005, this article authored by United States District Judge Sarah S. Vance is the best primer yet. Included in the Tulane Law Review’s recent symposium, Class Actions in the Gulf South and Beyond, Judge Vance’s article does exactly as she claims in the title, provides a comprehensive briefing of CAFA. What sets it apart from the others is the Judge’s beautiful use of logic in organizing the article which makes the article a pleasure to read, and ensures the reader gets the big picture instead of getting lost in the corners of the statute. Judge Vance takes the statute from its Congressional Findings, often overlooked in these articles, introduces CAFA’s basic features, and follows the same path a case would take by covering CAFA’s expanded federal jurisdiction, exceptions, affect on removal, appellate review provisions, and the Act’s settlement provisions. But she’s not done. Judge Vance goes the extra mile by covering the big issues surrounding the interpretation of the statute – commencement and the burden of proof. She also takes a stab at how she thinks CAFA will impact the class action landscape. Who reading this right now wouldn’t want to know what a federal judge thinks about CAFA’s impact on the class action landscape?
Bottom Line: This one is worth your time – read it, or at least save it. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had it when CAFA shows up on your doorstep.