UC Law Journal


Laurens Walker


This Article discusses the significance of the Consumer Class Action Bill of Rights, found in section 3 of the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act. The author argues that this section is the most significant provision of the law. In addition to expounding upon the notice provision of the Bill of Rights Section, the Article explores the possible responses that public officials could make. Additionally, the author predicts a strong degree of public participation in class action settlements, especially by the Attorneys General of the states. The Article also considers the Act's substantive regulation of settlement terms, including ''coupon settlements," as well as general prohibitions on negative settlements and geographic discrimination. The author examines the public and private enforcement models and discusses the comparative efficiency of public versus private enforcement. Lastly, the Article considers the jurisdictional provisions found in sections 4 and 5 of the Class Action Fairness Act, particularly the changes to minimal diversity and the facilitation of removal to federal court.

Using a comparative study of class actions in federal and state court, the author predicts that jurisdictional provisions will result in the litigation of most major class actions in federal court, but with little impact on the outcome of these cases. The author finds that the Bill of Rights view toward public enforcement is a costly policy and political mistake, and a better solution would have been found in providing for more robust private enforcement.

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