H.R. 2341 - Class Action Fairness Act of 2002

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY VOICE VOTE on Tuesday, March 12, 2002.
FLOOR ACTION: ADOPTED BY VOICE VOTE on Wednesday, March 13, 2002,
AFTER AGREEING TO THE PREVIOUS QUESTION 221-198.
MANAGERS: PRYCE/FROST
107th Congress
2nd Session

H.R. 2341 - Class Action Fairness Act of 2002

1. Structured rule.

2. Provides one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled between the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary.

3. Waives all points of order against consideration of the bill.

4. Provides that the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary now printed in the bill be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment.

5. Makes in order only those amendments printed in the Rules Committee report accompanying the resolution.

6. Provides that each amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.

7. Waives all points of order against such amendments.

8. Provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

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RESOLUTION

Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2341) to amend the procedures that apply to consideration of interstate class actions to assure fairer outcomes for class members and defendants, to outlaw certain practices that provide inadequate settlements for class members, to assure that attorneys do not receive a disproportionate amount of settlements at the expense of class members, to provide for clearer and simpler information in class action settlement notices, to assure prompt consideration of interstate class actions, to amend title 28, United States Code, to allow the application of the principles of Federal diversity jurisdiction to interstate class actions, and for other purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on the Judiciary now printed in the bill. The committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. No amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole. All points of order against such amendments are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

 


SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS MADE IN ORDER UNDER THE RULE

Issa
Creates a new paragraph in Section 3, the “Consumer Class Action Bill of Rights,” which would require class action settlement notices to provide a good faith estimate of the hourly rate that his or her lawyer will be paid. (20 min.)

Nadler/Delahunt/Johnson(TX)
Prevents records of class action cases from being sealed, if doing so would harm the public health and safety. (20 min.)

Waters
Addresses parties that withhold or shred documents related to court-ordered discovery. Such parties would be deemed to have admitted to any fact relating to the discovery order. (20 min.)

Keller
Ensures that when a class action judgment favors the plaintiff that their attorneys must disclose the amount of fees that they intend to collect. The amount must be disclosed to all plaintiffs at the time of rendered judgment or at the time that any award is transmitted to the plaintiffs. (20 min.)

Lofgren/Schiff
Seeks to federalize any state cause of action that is brought on behalf of the general public including civil law enforcement actions brought by local prosecutors. Preserves the ability of local prosecutors to enforce state antitrust and consumer protection laws. (20 min.)

Conyers/Jackson-Lee/Neal
Treats a foreign corporation which acquires a domestic corporation in a corporate repatriation transaction as being incorporated in the state under whose laws the acquired domestic corporation was organized. Ensures that a company cannot have a state class action removed to federal court merely by changing its place of incorporation abroad. (20 min.)

Jackson-Lee
Prohibits a party to a class action from removing the case to a district court if that party destroys material relating to the subject matter of the class action, or makes a misrepresentation with respect to existence of such materials. (20 min.)

Frank/Berman/Meehan
Provides that aspects of class actions filed in state court that could not be maintained under F.R.Civ.P. 23 in federal court would still be heard by a state court rather than either dismissed or removed and remanded. Such an action refused to be heard by the federal court could only be removed again to federal court if it met the diversity standards of 28 U.S.C. Section 1332(a). (20 min.)

Hart
Creates a new section 7 which would require the Judicial Conference of the United States to conduct a study and issue a report, including recommendations, within 12 months, detailing class action fee arrangements and ways they may be improved to benefit class members. (20 min.)

* Summaries derived from information submitted by the amendment sponsors.

 


TEXT OF AMENDMENTS MADE IN ORDER UNDER THE RULE