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1 Thomas E. Willging & Emery Lee, Interim Progress Report on Class Action Fairness Act Study 1 (2006)

handle is hein.congcourts/ipclafai0001 and id is 1 raw text is: Federal Judicial Center
Research Division
. memorandum
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To:           Advisory Committee on Civil Rules
From:         Tom Willging and Emery Lee*
Date:         May 22, 2006
Subject:      Interim Progress Report on Class Action Fairness Act Study
At the request of the Advisory Committee (acting in consultation with the chairs of the
Judicial Conference committees on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System, Court
Administration and Case Management, Judicial Resources, Federal-State Jurisdiction, and Rules of
Practice and Procedure), the Federal Judicial Center has undertaken a long-term study of the impact
of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) on the resources of the federal courts. The
following report presents preliminary descriptive baseline information on the number, frequency,
and types of cases filed as class actions in three federal district courts between July 1, 2001 through
June 30, 2005. The districts are the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (PAE), based in Philadelphia;
the Northern District of Illinois (ILN), based in Chicago; and the Northern District of California
(CAN), based in San Francisco. These districts are three of the four districts included in the Center
study of class actions terminated in 1992-94. The report also includes preliminary information on the
frequency of removal of class actions from state to federal court in those three districts. This is the
first of a series of interim reports to the Committee. We expect to present the next report in
September 2006 and, if possible, to include data for all of the more than 80 district courts currently
using the CM/ECF electronic filing system.
The data presented below may be revised slightly in later reports. As we update our search
of docket records for class action activity we anticipate identifying cases filed during the study
period that had not as yet evidenced any such activity. We also expect that further analysis might
uncover anomalies that we were unable to detect during this initial examination of three districts,
such as cases that were transferred to another district after our initial examination of the docket
records. For further discussion of such potential updates, see Methods, below.
Summary of Interim Results
Overall, interim data from three federal district courts show dramatic increases in class action
activity from the levels for those same courts reported in the Center's initial study of class actions in
. Supreme Court Fellow assigned to the Administrative Office. The project team includes George Cort, Laural
Hooper, Maria Estelita Huidobro, Marie Leary, Angelia Levy, Dean Miletich, and Nicholle Reisdorff. We are
grateful to Michael Beck, Clerk of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), and Ariana Estariel and
Alfred Ghiorzi of the JPML clerk's office for their invaluable assistance.

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