Kara Cormier, litigation attorney in Edwards Wildman's
New York office, authored an article examining how there are at least two issues that a defendant in the Second Circuit should consider before spending the time and money to seek removal of an action when the complaint is ambiguous on its face as to the amount of damages sought in Law360. In the article, "Silent Ad Damnum Leaves NY Defendants High And Dry
," the authors discussed how most district judges hold that the amount in controversy must be determined as of the time of filing the complaint or the notice of removal, even if, for example, the contract that was allegedly breached provided for future installment payments and that district courts in the Second Circuit have not fully utilized their authority to require a plaintiff to stipulate that his damages do not exceed the jurisdictional minimum prior to granting remand. According to Cormier, before a defendant even decides to seek removal of an action in which damages are unclear or unstated, it must first come to terms with having to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the complaint alleges damages that exceed the jurisdictional minimum.