Democrats May Block Class Action Fairness Act

The Associated Press reports that Democrats may succeed in blocking Senate approval of the Class Action Fairness Act. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on June 12.

As discussed previously in The 10b-5 Daily, the Class Action Fairness Act applies some of the reform concepts from securities law (the PSLRA and SLUSA) to all class actions. Notably, class actions meeting certain jurisdictional criteria would have to be heard in federal court.

Quote of note: “But most of the 48 Senate Democrats oppose the legislation to place all national class action lawsuits into the federal system, enough to filibuster if necessary, Democratic leaders say.”

Quote of note II: “Under both the House and Senate versions of the bill, class-action lawsuits in which the primary defendant and more than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state would still be heard in state court. But if less than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state as the primary defendant, the case would go to federal court. Also, at least $5 million would have to be at stake for a class-action lawsuit to be heard in federal court. The House version would apply to all lawsuits, including ones being argued in court now, but the Senate version is not retroactive. It also would apply only to class action lawsuits and not to similar actions, including lawsuits consolidated into one case or state attorney general actions.”

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