Washington Law Review


Mallory A. Gitt


The mass action provision in the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 provides a federal forum for certain state court litigation that resembles class actions but otherwise could not be removed. The provision is triggered when state court plaintiffs propose a joint trial of common legal or factual issues. But defining what constitutes that triggering event has proved difficult for federal courts. They have not used a uniform framework to determine when they have subject matter jurisdiction over the purported mass action, and have lacked a common interpretation of the statutory language to begin the inquiry. That lack of coherence has created confusion for litigants and potentially upset the balance of power between federal and state courts. This Comment proposes a uniform framework for federal courts to use in construing their subject matter jurisdiction in mass action cases.

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