There has been a dramatic shift in the landscape since we last explored the conflicting rules governing removal in diversity cases across the federal-court circuits. With the passage of the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 [PDF], H.R. 394, P.L. 112–63 on December 7, 2012, Congress made a number of significant changes to federal jurisdictional statutes that govern diversity jurisdiction, venue, and removal. It should be noted that practitioners currently involved in state-court actions filed before the effective date of January 6, 2012, will not be able to take advantage of the new statute. See Richardson v. Airserve, 2012 WL 1144021, *2 n.2 (D.Idaho, April 4, 2012).
Prior to the 2011 Act, the process of removal in multiple-defendant cases had been the subject of a split of opinions in the courts of appeals and among federal district courts, even within the same district, as we discussed at some length in “Understanding Time Limits on Removing Multiparty Cases to Federal Court,” Mass Torts, Vol. 7, No. 3, Summer 2009.