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Class Defense Blog Cutting-Edge Issues in Class Action Law and Policy

Joshua Yount

Joshua Yount

Josh Yount, a litigation partner in Mayer Brown's Chicago office and a member of the firm's top-ranked Supreme Court and Appellate practice, focuses his practice on appellate litigation, class certification defense, and securities law. With experience successfully representing a wide variety of businesses, he offers clients sophisticated legal analysis, careful strategic thinking, and vigorous advocacy.

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Posts by Joshua Yount

Class-Action Plaintiffs Must Offer Evidence Showing That They Meet Class-Certification Requirements

Posted in Adequacy, Class Certification, Predominance, Securities

A recent decision denying certification of a securities-fraud class action underscores that plaintiffs must prove with evidence that they satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, not merely allege that they do so or promise that they can. The decision in In re Kosmos Energy Limited Securities Litigation arose from a class action… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Filing A Class Action Tolls Statute of Repose Under Federal Securities Laws

Posted in Securities, U.S. Supreme Court

Last year, we reported on the Second Circuit’s ruling in Police & Fire Retirement System of City of Detroit v. IndyMac MBS, Inc. (pdf), 721 F.3d 95 (2d Cir. 2013), that the filing of a class action does not toll the statute of repose in the Securities Act of 1933 for would-be class members who… Continue Reading

Two Washer Cases Provide the Supreme Court with Its Best Opportunity Since Wal-Mart v. Dukes to Make Sense of Class-Certification Standards

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, U.S. Supreme Court

At its conference on January 10, the Supreme Court can get serious about fixing consumer class actions. The Justices should take up that challenge, because it will consider two certiorari petitions that seek review of class certifications—involving alleged “moldy odors” in high-tech front loading washing machines—that are prime examples of what has gone wrong with… Continue Reading

Twelve Amici Join Mayer Brown in Seeking Supreme Court Review of Front-Loading Washer Cases

Posted in Class Certification, Predominance, U.S. Supreme Court

As I have previously blogged, my colleagues and I have filed certiorari petitions in two significant cases affecting class-action litigation, Sears Roebuck & Co. v. Butler (pdf) and Whirlpool Corp. v. Glazer (pdf). The petitions challenge decisions that bless broad class actions on behalf of largely uninjured purchasers of front-loading washing machines whose product-defect claims… Continue Reading

Mayer Brown Files Cert Petitions In Front-Loading Washer Cases

Posted in Class Certification, Predominance, U.S. Supreme Court

Today, Mayer Brown filed a pair of certiorari petitions that challenge efforts by two federal appellate courts to narrow the Supreme Court’s recent class-action decisions in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes to tickets good for a single ride only. The Supreme Court previously remanded both cases for reconsideration after Comcast,… Continue Reading

Class Action Filing Doesn’t Toll Statute of Repose for Securities Claims, Says Second Circuit

Posted in Motions Practice, Securities

Under the American Pipe rule, in federal court the filing of a class action tolls the statute of limitations for would-be class members. Otherwise, the Supreme Court reasoned in American Pipe, putative class members would have to intervene or file their own individual actions during the pendency of the class action in case class certification… Continue Reading

What Does Comcast Corp. v. Behrend Mean For Class Action Defendants?

Posted in Antitrust, Class Certification, U.S. Supreme Court

When the Comcast Corp. v. Behrend decision came down, my colleagues summarized the Supreme Court’s ruling.  Since then, I’ve put together an analysis of the decision and its potential implications.  Lexis has now published the piece as a part of its ongoing Emerging Issues Analysis series.  It is available here:  2013 Emerging Issues 6992 ($)…. Continue Reading

Can Securities Fraud Defendants Rebut Price Impact To Avoid Class Certification?

Posted in Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, Securities

In Section 10(b) securities-fraud cases based on affirmative misrepresentations, a class action cannot be certified unless investor reliance is presumed under the fraud-on-the-market theory of Basic, Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988). In Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co., 131 S. Ct. 2179 (2011), the Supreme Court ruled that a plaintiff does… Continue Reading

Securities Fraud Defendant Rebuts Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption of Reliance

Posted in Class Certification, Motions Practice, Predominance, Securities

With all of the attention on last week’s Amgen decision, another interesting decision addressing the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance in securities fraud actions may have escaped notice. In GAMCO Investors, Inc. v. Vivendi, S.A. (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 28, 2013), Judge Scheindlin found that the defendant had rebutted the presumption of reliance as to a group of related… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds that Securities Fraud Plaintiffs Need Not Show Materiality at Class Certification

Posted in Class Certification, Securities

Today, in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, No. 11-1085, the Supreme Court held that proof of materiality is not a prerequisite for class certification in a securities fraud class action under Section 10(b), even though materiality is a predicate of the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance.  The opinion for the majority of… Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Seek to Revive Securities Fraud Class Actions Under Second Circuit’s “Class Standing” Doctrine

Posted in Class Action Trends, Securities

I previously blogged about the Second Circuit’s troubling decision in NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs & Co. (pdf), 693 F.3d 145 (2d Cir. 2012), which invented a “class standing” doctrine allowing a named plaintiff in a class action to assert Securities Act claims regarding securities that he or she never purchased. In the… Continue Reading

Can Members of a Mandatory Class Action Opt Out?

Posted in Adequacy, Class Action Settlements, Rule 23(b)(1), Rule 23(b)(2)

A recent decision from the Delaware Supreme Court is a reminder that the members of a mandatory class—one in which the class isn’t guaranteed opt-out rights—sometimes may be given the right to opt out in order to pursue their own individual actions. The decision, In re Celera Corp. Shareholder Litigation (pdf), addressed a class settlement of… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Scope of Preemption of State-Law Securities Class Actions by SLUSA

Posted in Securities, U.S. Supreme Court

On Friday, the Supreme Court granted review in three consolidated cases: Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, No. 12-79, Willis of Colorado v. Troice, No. 12-86, and Proskauer Rose LLP v. Troice, No. 12-88. The Court’s decision will clarify when the federal Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (“SLUSA”) preempts state-law securities class actions. After Congress… Continue Reading

DRI Amicus Brief Argues That Second Circuit’s Expansive View Of “Class Standing” In Securities Cases Should Be Rejected

Posted in Securities, U.S. Supreme Court

A few months ago, I posted about a Second Circuit decision that threatens to open the floodgates to securities class actions, NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs & Co., 693 F.3d 145 (2d Cir. 2012).  In that decision, the Second Circuit ruled that even though a plaintiff in an individual action may assert… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Roundup: The Oral Arguments in Comcast and Amgen

Posted in Class Certification, U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s 2012-13 term is shaping up to be an important one for class action law.  Last month, the Court heard argument on the same day in two potentially significant cases. Comcast Corp. v. Behrend concerns whether plaintiffs may obtain class certification without introducing admissible evidence (including expert testimony) that damages can be proven… Continue Reading

Is The Second Circuit Placing A Thumb On The Scale When It Reviews Orders Granting Class Certification?

Posted in Class Certification

One oddity of the law in the Second Circuit is the unbalanced standard of review that the court sometimes applies to class certification decisions. On a dozen or so occasions over the last twenty years, the Second Circuit has proclaimed that it is “noticeably less deferential when the district court has denied class status than… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On Whether Materiality Must Be Proven At The Class Certification Stage In Securities Class Actions

Posted in Class Certification, Securities, U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in a case that may have a significant impact on how district courts resolve class certification fights in securities fraud cases. The issue in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds is whether a class can be certified if the alleged misrepresentations constituting the fraud are… Continue Reading

NECA-IBEW: Second Circuit Rules That Plaintiffs Sometimes Have Standing to Bring Class Claims Covering Securities Offerings Other Than Ones in Which They Bought

Posted in Class Certification, Motions Practice

Can a plaintiff who bought a security in one offering bring a class action on behalf of purchasers in other offerings if the plaintiff alleges a misstatement common to all of the offerings? In cases under Sections 11 and 12 of the 1933 Securities Act—particularly those involving mortgage-backed securities—the consensus view had been that a… Continue Reading