Removal Before Service

As readers of this blog know, we’ve been strangely fascinated by the spat over whether in-state defendants (whose presence in a lawsuit would ordinarily prevent removal) can remove actions to federal court before those defendants are served with the complaint.

For examples of our fascination, see here, here, here, and here.

We posted (and again here) earlier this week about the New Jersey federal trial court decision in Thomson v. Novartis, which permitted defendants to remove seemingly non-removable diversity cases, so long as the cases were removed before plaintiff effected service on the in-state defendants.

We saw room for mischief there. (Indeed, folks on

We posted about Thomson v. Novartis on Sunday, noting that it was an odd case analyzing an unusual removal issue.

The Civil Procedure Prof Blog saw our post and agreed that the issue was unusual.

Apparently, however, the issue won’t be unusual for long. We received this note from a reader:

I read your post

This post does not announce late-breaking news. Given the speed at which information travels on the web, an opinion decided in May is ancient history. But the world seems to have overlooked the implications of Thomson v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., No. 06-6280 (JBS), 2007 WL 1521138 (D.N.J. May 22, 2007), so we’re here to