Choosing Federal or State Court in Consumer Class Actions
Northern California ABTL REPORT
by Thomas Mayhew
A key decision to be made early in many business cases, whether by the plaintiff on where to file or by the defendant on whether to remove, is whether to have the case heard in state or federal court. The onetwo punch of Proposition 64 - requiring class certification for cases under California Business & Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500 et seq. - and the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA") - authorizing federal court jurisdiction based on minimal diversity in any case with $5 million in dispute and a defendant corporation outside California - means that more business litigators than ever before need to address this decision. This article describes some of the strategic considerations that go into making that choice.