There is a critical federal statute that all insurance litigators should be aware of when their case is “removed” from a State trial court to a federal court. Insurance companies often remove State court cases to the federal system to take advantage of what they apparently believe is a strategic advantage. Although this perceived advantage may or may not exist, all aggressive insurance attorneys should know how to fight back.
First, you should know that there is a presumption against federal court jurisdiction. By statute, a federal district court must send any case that lacks subject-matter jurisdiction back to State court. 28 U.S.C. §1447(c). And although a plaintiff usually has only thirty days to object to a defendant’s “removal” of a State case to federal court, an objection based on the federal Court’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction can be raised at any time before final judgment, even in the middle of a trial. 28 U.S.C. §1447(c). Federal courts routinely make thorough examinations of subject matter jurisdiction early in a case in order to avoid wasting resources on a case that ultimately needs to be sent back to State court.
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