New opinion — federal-question jurisdiction reversal

This appeal turns on federal-question jurisdiction. The plaintiffs challenged certain short sales of stock in state court, and the defendants removed to federal court. The district court denied the plaintiffs’ request to remand. Today, CA3 held that there was no federal-question jurisdiction and reversed. Along the way, the court split with the 9th Circuit on the question of whether an exclusive-jurisdiction provision itself conferred jurisdiction.

The case is Manning v. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. Opinion by Smith, joined by Vanaskie and Sloviter. The case was decided without oral argument. This is a notable David-over-Goliath appeal win. The defendants were represented on appeal by a slew of household-name firms, while the plaintiffs were represented by a solo practitioner whose website is just terrible.