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‘Litigation Is Not Ping-Pong,’ Judge Posner Says

(CN) - The 7th Circuit allowed a charter company's lawsuit against Learjet to stay in federal court, even though it wasn't certified as a class action, saying cases should generally stay where they first obtained jurisdiction. "[L]itigation is not ping-pong," Judge Richard Posner wrote.

Cunningham Charter Corporation sued Learjet for breach of warranty and product liability in Illinois state court, but Learjet removed the lawsuit under the Class Action Fairness Act.

That court denied class certification and then remanded, ruling that the lack of class-action status stripped the court of jurisdiction.

The Chicago-based appeals court granted Learjet leave to appeal in order to resolve a jurisdictional issue under the Class Action Fairness Act that the court had never before decided.

It found that the district court still has jurisdiction, despite its denial of class certification.

"Our conclusion vindicates the general principle that jurisdiction once properly invoked is not lost by developments after a suit is filed," Posner wrote.

"Behind the principle ... is a desire to minimize expense and delay," he added. "If at all possible, therefore, a case should stay in the system that first acquired jurisdiction. It should not be shunted between court systems; litigation is not ping-pong."

The 7th Circuit reversed the lower court's remand order, allowing the case to proceed in federal court.

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