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David Herr Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer on Changes to the Federal Venue Law

March 16, 2012

Maslon attorney David Herr is quoted in the March 5, 2012, edition of Minnesota Lawyer in an article titled, "Federal removal statute creates venue changes," that details recent changes to the Federal Venue Law (Title 28, U.S.C. § 1441), effective January 6, 2012, which clarified significant provisions regarding federal diversity jurisdiction, removal and remand and venue. The article reports that civil practitioners say the new law will lead to "an increase in diversity-based discovery and cut down on the jurisdictional gamesmanship that regularly occurs in litigation."

Referencing the original Act which passed in 2011, David noted "It's surprising that this law raced through Congress." The writer continues by sharing David's explanation that "Congress created a problem with the one-year rule and is now fixing it."

Among the significant changes reported is the adoption of a bad-faith exception to federal venue laws, that creates an exception to the one-year rule prohibiting lawyers from removing a suit on diversity grounds more than a year after it is filed in state court. David commented, "Federal judges are pretty good about rooting out jurisdictional issues, even if the parties don't raise it."

In addition, the article shares other key changes to the law, including the following:

  • In cases with multiple defendants, each defendant has 30 days after being served with a complaint to seek removal. Earlier-served defendants will also be allowed to join in or consent to removal by another defendant.
  • A federal judge hearing a case removed on federal question grounds has discretion to retain or remand "all matters in which State law predominates."
  • When a judge is deciding a diversity jurisdiction question, resident aliens are not considered citizens. As a result, the courts will not recognize diversity jurisdiction in a suit between two resident aliens domiciled in different states.
  • Transfer of venue is permitted in "any district or division to which all parties have consented," even if the case could not have originally been filed there.
  • All corporations are considered to be citizens of their place of incorporation and principal place of business.
David Herr is a partner in Maslon's Litigation Group and is a highly regarded appellate lawyer and complex case litigator. He is frequently sought out to provide practical and sophisticated advice on how to resolve difficult, multi-party disputes in trial courts and arbitral forums, as well as in the appellate courts.

To read the complete article, go to Minnesota Lawyer: Federal removal statute creates venue changes (Subscription required.)


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