University of Pittsburgh

Congress Passes Federal-Courts Legislation Incorporating Arthur Hellman’s Ideas

Publish Date/Time: 
December 1, 2011

For the second time this fall, Congress has passed federal-courts legislation that incorporates ideas and drafting suggestions of Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman. The bill is H.R. 394, the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011 (JVCA). The JVCA, which President Obama is expected to sign, embodies the most far-reaching package of revisions to the Judicial Code since 1990. 

Key provisions of the JVCA revise the law governing the removal of cases from state to federal court and the determination of venue (the proper district within the federal judicial system). The authoritative legislative history of the JVCA is the Report issued by the House Judiciary Committee. That Report acknowledges Professor Hellman’s contributions to the bill: “Legal scholars from the law schools of the University of Houston, Chicago-Kent, Loyola, and Duke endorsed changes to the original text of the bill [considered in a previous Congress], which were developed by Professor Arthur Hellman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, who testified at the 2005 Subcommittee hearing and contributed to the project in the 111th Congress.”

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