Federal Judicial Center Issues Third Interim Report on CAFA

By Brian Wolfman

The Federal Judicial Center has just issued its third iterim report on the Class Action Fairness Act of

2005. I have asked its principal author, Tom Willging, to post his impressions in some detail, and I hope he has a chance to do so soon. Meanwhile, here is how Tom synopsized the report in a cover e-mail:

Here is a copy of our recent report on the impact of CAFA on the federal courts. This report is based on cases filed in or removed to federal court from July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2006 and includes a full 16 months of CAFA activity. We found that CAFA is bringing new diversity cases into the federal courts at a rate of approximately 315 to 360 cases per year. The report also indicates that many of the new cases are original actions filed in the federal courts, not removals from state courts. This suggests that plaintiffs are choosing to file actions in federal court rather than face the removals that CAFA facilitates. The impact of the Act thus far has been felt throughout the federal system, with particularly strong impacts show in district courts in the 9th circuit, particularly in California. District courts in seven of the twelve circuits experienced a doubling of their diversity class action caseloads.

Tom also notes that you may want to print out the full report in living color because some of the figures are easier to interpret in color. And he is eager for comments or suggestions.