In the News December 15, 2014

Daily Report Highlights Alston & Bird U.S. Supreme Court Win

The Daily Report highlighted the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Alston & Bird clients, Dart Cherokee and Cherokee Basin, noting that Nowell Berreth, partner in the firm’s Litigation Group, argued the case, his first before the High Court.

As reported, the case – Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, No. 13-719 – arose from a putative class action in Kansas state court over oil-and-gas royalties. Dart Cherokee and Cherokee Basin removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act, but the district court remanded the case to state court because the Dart petitioners had not attached evidence of federal jurisdiction to their notice of removal. The Dart entities petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for permission to appeal, which the circuit court denied. Joining the case at the appellate stage, Alston & Bird petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. On April 7, the Court granted review.

In vacating the Tenth Circuit’s decision, the Supreme Court held that defendants seeking removal to federal court do not need to include evidence of jurisdiction in the notice of removal; plausible allegations of the grounds for removal suffice.

As noted in the article, the “majority opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said a defendant's notice of removal ‘need include only a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold’; evidence can come later.”

Berreth, along with Alston & Bird senior associate Brian Boone and associate Jonathan Parente, represented the defendants in the matter.
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