Vanderbilt Law Review

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In 1925, Judge Dobie, then professor of law at the University of Virginia, advanced a formula for determining the value of the matter in controversy in all federal question and diverse citizenship cases in the federal district courts. He called it a "plaintiff-viewpoint rule," and stated it thus: "The amount in controversy in the United States District Court is always to be determined by the value to the plaintiff of the right which he in good faith asserts in his pleading that sets forth the operative facts which constitute his cause of action."

Since then, the rule has received sanction and support from eminently respectable authority. Judge Clark of the Second Circuit has said, "This, the so-called plaintiff's viewpoint test ... seems now well settled. ..,' and Judge Parker of the Fourth Circuit has said, "It is well settled that the measure of jurisdiction in a suit for injunction is the value to plaintiff of the right which he seeks to protect." Similarly, Moore, in his Federal Practice, wrote,"It must be said, however, that the prevailing note of the decisions and the impulses of logic and expediency indicate that the amount in controversy should be determined from the standpoint of the plaintiff," and Judge Yankwich, in an article published in the Federal Rules Decisions, wrote, "As a general proposition, it may be said that the test for determining the existence of the jurisdictional minimum is the value to the plaintiff of the right which he seeks to assert."' Numerous writers for law reviews have taken a similar attitude.