The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) expanded federal court diversity jurisdiction with respect to class action disputes. Specifically, CAFA provides federal courts jurisdiction over all class action matters in which the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million and any class member is a citizen of a different state than the defendant. CAFA is frequently invoked by defense counsel who consider federal court to be a more favorable forum than state court.
However, there are exceptions to the general rule, such as the “home-state” exception. If properly utilized, the home-state exception can prevent a federal court from exercising jurisdiction over a class action case.