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Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA)

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) is a law intended to prevent abuses associated with class action lawsuits.

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CAFA places class action cases under federal jurisdiction (previously, such cases were within the jurisdiction of state courts), provided the amount at issue is greater than $5 million. CAFA also makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to go "forum shopping" in search of jurisdictions known for class action lawsuit abuses. Another important provision within CAFA contains procedures for judicial review of attorneys' fees, which are often excessive relative to the recoveries received by plaintiffs. Opponents of CAFA have asserted that these changes will deny aggrieved persons their day in court by making it much more difficult to bring class action suits and that taking such cases out of state court jurisdiction will clog the federal courts' dockets.

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Class action lawsuits are a type of lawsuit that is brought by a single, affected individual on...