Here is a scenario that many litigators will be familiar with: You walk into the office on a Monday morning in January 2011, only to find a client waiting at your doorstep with a rather unusual, nervous look on his face. The client then reaches into his large box, hands you the paperwork filling it, and explains that he was served 25 days ago and needs the case transferred to federal court. As an experienced attorney, you believe that you still have time. But you soon discover that another defendant in the case was served over 30 days ago. You now know that you are out of luck, and that there is nothing you can do.
Fast forward to March 2012. Hot off the presses is the new Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 (Act). Now, there is hope you can help your client. The Act provides that each individual defendant has his own 30-day window to have the case removed to federal court.