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Center/Atlantic Legal Foundation Brief Addresses CAFA's "Internal Affairs" Exception

  • Published May 02, 2024
Sarah E. Spencer

Brief author Sarah Elizabeth Spencer of SpencerWillson, PLLC.

Congress enacted the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to make it easier for corporate defendants to remove interstate class actions of national importance from state trial courts to federal district courts. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d) & 1453. The pending certiorari petition in Country Mutual Insurance Company v. Angela Sudholt (23-1024) requests that the Supreme Court resolve well-defined splits of authority on the scope of two specific statutory exceptions to CAFA's relaxed provisions for removal of class actions on diversity grounds: (i) the "home state" exception, where "the primary defendants[] are citizens of the State in which the action was originally filed," 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4)(B); and (ii) the "internal affairs" exception, where a class action "solely involves a claim [that] relates to the internal affairs or governance of a corporation or other form of business enterprise," 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d)(9)(B), 1453(d)(2).

The Atlantic Legal Foundation (ALF), joined by the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy (the Center), has filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant review. Appellate specialist Sarah Elizabeth Spencer of SpencerWillson, PLLC in Salt Lake City authored the brief, which focuses on the internal affairs exception and discusses why it should be narrowly construed and applied. Spencer is the chair of DRI’s Appellate Advocacy Committee and a member of the Center’s Amicus Committee.

Read More About the Case (PDF)