Seventh Circuit Review


The Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA") expands removal jurisdiction to include most state court class action suits that "commenced" before CAFA's enactment. The question facing many courts now is what constitutes a suit's commencement? The Seventh Circuit recently determined that the addition of new defendants or new claims that do not relate back to the original cause of action, "commence" a new suit for purposes of removal jurisdiction under CAFA. This article examines the Seventh Circuit's interpretation and concludes that it will likely upset the settled expectations of plaintiffs who filed their cases in state court expecting to go to judgment there, although this broad interpretation is consistent with CAFA's underlying purpose.

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