I’m not sure this is the best place to ask this, but I’ll give it a whirl.
I’ve heard on and off over the last few years about attempts to reform the class action system, which is beginning to look like a lawyers lottery. Massive awards that give millions to a few lawyers and give little if any compensation for the people supposidly helped.
The most common reform that I’ve heard proposed (other than perhaps loser pays) is federalizing large class actions in order to remove them from state court and eliminate the problem of venue shopping. What would be the potential downside of this? And what about other reforms, such as capping fees?
The workload of Federal courts is already pretty freakin’ overburdened, especially with so many vacancies on the bench. Moving every class action in the nation to a Federal district court would not be good. We handle more than enough state law cases as it is, and Congress periodically raises the jurisdictional amount required to get a state law case into Federal court. The trend is (and needs to remain) less, not more.
Also, current versions of federalization legisalation would make class actions that didn’t get certified in Federal court be remanded to state court and be stripped of class allegations, even if they could have maintained a class action in state court originally. This means a lot of people won’t get their wrongs redressed because they can’t afford to pursue their case individually.