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Mississippi, ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp.

Close Date: 01/14/2014
Topic(s): Class Actions
Consumer Justice
Docket: 12-1036
Court: Select Court

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This case involved the question whether a state attorney general's suit on behalf of the citizens of his state was a "mass action" that was removable to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). Public Citizen filed briefs at both the certiorari stage and the merits stage arguing that under the plain meaning of the act, a "mass action" was a case in which claims brought by individual plaintiffs were joined for trial, and that an attorney general's action on behalf of the state as parens patriae for its citizens does not fall within that definition. Thus, such claims may be brought in the attorney general's chosen state-court forum and are not subject to removal to federal court unless they raise a federal question. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and ultimately ruled in favor of our position, holding that an attorney general's action is not removable under CAFA.