Thursday, January 05, 2006

SMU Law Review Publishes Piece Analyzing Personal Jurisdiction Issues Arising from CAFA

Southern Methodist University Law Review has just published an article by Carol Rice Andrews entitled The Personal Jurisdiction Problem Overlooked In The National Debate About "Class Action Fairness", 58 SMU L. Rev. 1313 (Fall 2005). Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:

The Class Action Fairness Act became law in early 2005. A principal aim of the Act was to broaden the jurisdiction of federal courts so that they could hear more nationwide (or multi-state) class actions--class actions that purport to resolve claims of persons throughout the United States. Previously, state courts had been the primary forum for many nationwide class actions, but in the early 1990s, critics increasingly complained of a variety of problems and abuses in state court class actions. This view was not universally shared, and for over a decade, debate raged about the fairness of state courts hearing nationwide class actions. The debate about class action fairness overlooked one fundamental fairness issue: whether any court (state or federal) may properly assert personal jurisdiction over a defendant on all claims of the nationwide class, when only a small portion of the class claims arise out of the defendant's forum state activities. In federal court, this issue principally is one of policy, but in state court, personal jurisdiction raises constitutional questions, primarily due process issues but also some dormant commerce clause concerns. This article examines all of the personal jurisdiction issues arising in nationwide class actions in both state and federal court.


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