For more than a century, courts and practitioners have repeated as immutable doctrine that removal jurisdiction in diversity cases turns exclusively on the pleadings at the time of removal. They have continued to do so since passage of the Class Action Fairness Act.
But actual practice is far more complex. More and more, courts have recognized exceptions to the “time of filing” rule, allowing post-removal events to shape — and in some cases, dictate — the outcome of jurisdictional analyses in CAFA cases.
Careful attention to the exceptions can spell the difference between preserving or defeating federal jurisdiction.