Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (03/13/2002)

Class Action Fairness Act of 2002 - Establishes a consumer class action bill of rights, including provision for: (1) judicial review and approval of noncash settlements; (2) protection against loss by class members because of payments to class counsel; (3) a prohibition against court approval of a proposed settlement providing for greater payments to class members because they are located in closer geographic proximity to the court; (4) a prohibition against court approval of a proposed settlement providing for payment of a greater share of the award to a class representative serving on behalf of a class; (5) standardized settlement notification information; (6) disclosure of attorney's fees; and (7) sunshine in court records (limiting the sealing, or subjection to a protective order, of such records).

Grants the district courts original jurisdiction of any civil action in which the matter in controversy exceeds $2 million, exclusive of interest and costs, and is a class action in which any member of a class of plaintiffs is: (1) a citizen of a State different from any defendant; (2) a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state and any defendant is a citizen of a State; or (3) a citizen of a State and any defendant is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state. Lists exceptions, such as where a class action brought by shareholders solely involves a claim concerning a covered security or relating to the internal governance of a corporation.

Sets forth procedures for removal of interstate class actions to U.S. district court and for review of orders remanding class actions to State courts. Prohibits a plaintiff class member who is not a named or representative class member of the action from seeking removal of the action before an order certifying a class of which the plaintiff is a class member has been entered.

Grants the courts of appeals jurisdiction of appeals from orders of the U.S. district courts granting or denying class certification under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if notice of appeal is filed within ten days after entry of the order.

Requires the Judicial Conference of the United States, with the assistance of the Director of the Federal Judicial Center and the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, to prepare and transmit to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees a report on class action settlements in the Federal courts.