Munger, Tolles & Olson litigator Enrique R. Schaerer had an article published in the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, under the title “A Rose by Any Other Name: Why a Parens Patriae Action Can Be a ‘Mass Action’ Under the Class Action Fairness Act.” The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) confers federal diversity jurisdiction over not only a “class action” but also a “mass action,” defined as “any civil action in which monetary relief claims of 100 or more persons are proposed to be tried jointly.” In his article, Mr. Schaerer argues that a parens patriae action, a lawsuit brought by a state attorney general on behalf of state citizens, can be a CAFA mass action. This happens where the State sues out-of-state defendants for valuable monetary relief for hundreds of its residents who, as real parties in interest, constitute the 100 or more persons of a mass action and whose citizenship establishes minimal diversity. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case presenting this CAFA mass action issue, which issue has divided the Federal Courts of Appeal, during the October 2013 term.
Mr. Schaerer represents clients in federal and state court in cases related to general business litigation. In particular, he focuses on constitutional and statutory interpretation.