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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles: SCOTUS Hears CAFA Jurisdiction Matter

The Supreme Court yesterday heard oral argument in The Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (Case No. 11-1450), which raises the following issue: 
Whether, after Smith v. Bayer [564 U.S. ---, 131 S.Ct. 2368 (2011), discussed here] when a named plaintiff attempts to defeat a defendant’s right of removal under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 by filing with a class action complaint a “stipulation” that attempts to limit the damages he “seeks” for the absent putative class members to less than the $5 million threshold for federal jurisdiction, and the defendant establishes that the actual amount in controversy, absent the “stipulation,” exceeds $5 million, the “stipulation” is binding on absent class members so as to destroy federal jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court's web site for Standard Fire is here. SCOTUSblog has an interesting article here -- written in advance of the argument. The oral argument transcript is here.  

The State Bar of California's Labor and Employment Law Section will present a webinar on Standard Fire within a week or two of the Supreme Court issuing its decision. Stay tuned here for more information.  

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