Federal Class Action Reform:

A Boxscore of Support and Opposition
April 01, 1999

On February 3, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Herbert Kohl (D-WI), and Strom Thurmond (R-SC) introduced the “Class Action Fairness Act of 1999” (S. 353), which contains, in pertinent part, three major reform provisions that would (1) allow a state court class action to be removed to a federal court in the absence of complete diversity; (2) limit attorneys fees to a reasonable percentage of the damage award; and (3) require that all proposed state class action settlements be filed with the U.S. Attorney General and the offices of the state attorneys general in states in which any class member resides. A reform bill was introduced in the House last year, and a bill substantially similar to the Senate initiative is expected to be introduced in the House very soon. The following is a summary of opposition and support with respect to these provisions....