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Recovering Federal Jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act: Advanced Removal and Remand Strategies

CAFA is typically invoked by a putative class action defendant wanting to litigate in federal court. Prudent defense counsel looking to remove will analyze the timing rules and scour the complaint to identify whether CAFA's minimal diversity, class size, and amount in controversy requirements are met. A plaintiff preferring state court will massage those same factors to find facts that defeat jurisdiction. Counsel on both sides have experimented with approaches to reach the desired outcome for their clients. These experiments are creating a robust body of law. The panel will discuss the requirements for removal from state to federal court and how to avoid missteps; CAFA's local-controversy, home-state, and interest-of-justice exceptions; and post-removal strategies. The panel will also highlight other overlooked but essential CAFA requirements.