Anthony Rollo, H. Hunter Twiford III, and John Rouse, CAFA Enunciates A New Burden Of Proof Standard For Federal Jurisdiction, Consumer Financial Services Law Report, Vol. 10, Issue 5 (August 9, 2006).
There aren’t many mantles of honor that hold a higher distinction than the refrigerator door, so when three of our own editors, Anthony Rollo, Hunter Twiford, and John Rouse, brought home this article – well, we were down right proud, and decided to move the dentist appointment reminder and put the article in its place. The article, from the August 2006 issue of the Consumer Financial Services Law Report, takes a look at CAFA’s jurisdictional burden of proof and comes back with a unique, and in our estimation, compelling argument.
The premise of the argument is simply that "CAFA’s text, purposes, and legislative history combine to create a presumption in favor of finding that minimal diversity jurisdiction exists, with the burden of proof assigned to the party opposing jurisdiction." The authors reach this conclusion by considering the effect of CAFA’s introduction of a new minimal diversity standard for interstate class actions into section 28 U.S.C. 1332. The article argues that the introduction of this jurisdiction expanding standard, when considered against the background of Congress’ findings and purposes for CAFA, indicate Congress’ intent that courts apply a different standard and shift the burden of proof to the party challenging jurisdiction. However, many courts considering jurisdiction under CAFA have ignored CAFA’s legislative history and applied the traditional complete diversity burden of proof presumption that the party asserting jurisdiction bears the burden of proving all jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied. Take a look and see if you agree.
Bottom Line: A well-written article (even if we must say so ourselves) espousing an interesting and arguably correct approach to CAFA’s jurisdictional burden of proof. Who knows, you may like it so much it ends up on your refrigerator door….
The full text of the article is published with the express permission of the Consumer Financial Services Law Report and LRP Publications, Inc. The article is copyright 2006 by LRP, all rights reserved, and is reprinted on the CAFA Law Blog site with permission.
The Editors of the CAFA Law Blog thank Consumer Financial Services Law Report and LRP for their continuing support in publishing articles related to CAFA. Anthony, Hunter and John also welcome comments from the readers of the CAFA Law Blog as to the contents of and opinions expressed in the article.