CAFA Debate_ - The ability for multiple parties to file...

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The ability for multiple parties to file suit against a wrongdoer for like cause as a class action suit is a fundamental privilege provided by our judicial system. Class action lawsuits should provide fair trials and awards for all parties affected, yet in the past, attorneys frequently used them as vehicles to promote unfair and unethical practices. Little regulation existed prior to 2005 regarding the filing and compensation associated with class action lawsuits. Attorneys took advantage of the lack of regulation to file class action claims in favorable state jurisdictions, thus increasing win probabilities while avoiding federal court scrutiny. In addition, benefits received by plaintiffs under a favorable verdict or settlement could potentially be mitigated as attorney fees could surpass the total award without penalty. The acknowledgment and reform of this class action “wild west” was finally addressed in February 2005 through the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). CAFA’s main tenets are to assure fair and prompt recoveries for class action members with legitimate claims and to restore the intent of the United States Constitution to allow federal consideration of important interstate cases. CAFA accomplishes this by: Broadening guidelines in which class action suits can be heard at the federal level. Restricting compensation for attorneys while mandating equal award distribution to all plaintiffs of class action suits. Reducing “Forum-Shopping” Many large class action lawsuits involve plaintiffs who are geographically dispersed, typically citing damages caused by national entities. Pre-CAFA, class action suits would only be
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CAFA Debate_ - The ability for multiple parties to file...

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