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Category Archives: Class Certification

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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

Use the “Consumer” in Consumer Class Actions to Defeat Certification

Posted in Ascertainability, Class Certification, Predominance, Typicality

Plaintiffs routinely bring consumer class actions under statutes that allow only consumers—not businesses—to bring claims, or that are limited to transactions solely for personal or household purposes. See, e.g., Electronic Funds Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1693a(2); Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2606(a)(1); California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code §… Continue Reading

En Banc Ninth Circuit Demands That Courts Serve As Gatekeepers For Expert Testimony—Will That Rule Be Extended to Class Actions?

Posted in Class Certification

In the battle over class certification, expert testimony proffered by both plaintiffs and defendants is playing an increasingly important role. The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the test for admissibility of expert testimony announced in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals applies at the class-certification stage, although it has certainly dropped hints to that… 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

Recent Appellate Decisions Underscore That Wage and Hour Class Actions are Alive and Well in California Despite Brinker

Posted in Class Certification, Employment

Some observers of California wage-and-hour class actions contended that the Brinker v. Superior Court—a key decision we have discussed in the past—had sounded the death knell for class certification in those cases. of California wage and hour class actions. Not so fast, according to the California Courts of Appeal, which have, in four published opinions,… Continue Reading

Floodgates to New York Telemarketing Class Actions Under the TCPA Are Open, Says Second Circuit

Posted in Class Certification

Just in time for the holidays, the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Bank v. Independence Energy Group LLC has dropped a lump of coal in the business community’s stocking. In this case, the “lump of coal” is an open door to class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in federal courts in New York…. Continue Reading

The Fate of Hollywood Internship Programs May Rest With the Second Circuit

Posted in Employment, Predominance

Former interns used to get revenge against their employers by writing tell-all blog posts and memoirs. Now, they’re lending their names to plaintiffs’ lawyers, who then file wage-and-hour class or collective actions alleging that interns must be paid like hourly employees. The unpaid internship is among the hottest areas in wage-and-hour litigation. Two of the… Continue Reading

O Canada: New Ground Rules For Class Certification in Antitrust Cases North Of The Border

Posted in Antitrust, Ascertainability, Class Certification

While the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals have in recent years demanded rigorous scrutiny before authorizing certification of class actions, the Supreme Court of Canada has charted a different course. In a trio of recent decisions in antitrust class actions, Canada’s high court rejected key U.S. precedents on the scope and nature… 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

The Seventh Circuit’s Unique Approach To Handling Rule 23(f) Petitions

Posted in Appeals, Class Certification

We recently noted that the Ninth Circuit had granted a Rule 23(f) petition in Chen v. Allstate Insurance Co.—on the issue whether a named plaintiff can refuse an offer of judgment for full relief and persist in litigating a class action—and was expected to issue a briefing schedule soon. Leaving aside the substance of the… 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

Third Circuit Rulings Give Teeth to Ascertainability Requirement for Class Certification

Posted in Ascertainability, Class Certification, Numerosity, Superiority

The “ascertainability” requirement for class certification is a crucial safeguard for both defendants and absent class members. There is some debate about its origin: some courts have held that it is implicit in Rule 23 that class members must be readily identifiable; others find ascertainability to be rooted in Rule 23(a)(1)’s numerosity mandate or Rule… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Overturns Certification of Antitrust Class Action and Requires Reconsideration in Light of Comcast Corp. v. Behrend

Posted in Class Certification, Predominance

Class-action lawyers on both sides of the “v.” have been debating the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend. Last week, the D.C. Circuit delivered its answer in In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation, the most significant opinion thus far to address Comcast. As the D.C…. Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Overturns Certification of Overtime Class Action Because Of Foreign Statute Of Repose

Posted in Class Certification, Predominance

It’s not all that often that a federal court of appeals reverses an order granting class certification in an unpublished opinion—much less the Ninth Circuit. But a panel of that court just did so last week in holding that a district court erred in certifying a class of workers because of Kuwait’s statute of repose…. Continue Reading

I May Have “Standing” To Sue For False Advertising Of Products I Didn’t Purchase, But Do I Satisfy The “Typicality” Requirement Of Rule 23?

Posted in Class Certification, Typicality

We recently blogged about one of the recent “class standing” decisions holding that a named plaintiff has standing to represent a class on false advertising claims challenging products the named plaintiff never purchased with labels the named plaintiff never saw. According to that decision, so long as the products that were purchased by the named… Continue Reading

Is There New Hope for Challenging Aggregated Statutory Damages?

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

Congress and state legislatures have enacted many statutes that provide for minimum statutory damages recoveries that are far in excess of the actual damages most individuals will suffer. A prominent example is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which offers $500 per violation of the statute, trebled to $1500 for willful violations. The idea is… 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

Eighth Circuit Holds that a Plaintiff who Settles Individual Claims Lacks Standing to Challenge Denial of Class Certification

Posted in Appeals, Class Certification

Here’s a common scenario:  After unsuccessfully moving for class certification and having a petition for review under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) rebuffed, the plaintiff wants to take another shot at an appeal.  Can the plaintiff simply settle his individual claims—subject to his right to appeal the denial of class certification—so that he has a… Continue Reading

Nip A Class Action In The Bud By Moving To Strike the Class Allegations

Posted in Class Certification, Motions Practice

One of the reasons that companies hate class actions is that, win or lose, the defense costs are often enormous. Usually, it’s discovery that leads to eye-popping numbers on the bills—whether from law firms themselves, contract attorneys, or e-discovery vendors. But defendants have an often overlooked tool for attempting to avoid costs related to discovery—the… Continue Reading

Do the Plaintiffs Lack Standing or Are Their Claims Simply Meritless—or Both?

Posted in Adequacy, Class Action Trends, Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, Typicality

Here’s the situation: You’re facing a class action in federal court in which the plaintiffs define the putative class so broadly as to encompass many people who weren’t injured by the alleged wrongdoing. For example, consider a false-advertising class action on behalf of “all purchasers” of a product that the vast majority of purchasers would… Continue Reading

California Trial Court Rejects “Trial by Formula” Approach to False-Advertising Class Action and Sets Aside Verdict

Posted in Class Certification, Motions Practice

In state courts, sometimes you lose even when you win. In a recent false-advertising class action, a California Superior Court entered an order concluding that the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert—who was the linchpin of the case for class certification and on the merits—was inadmissible, which meant that the defendant was entitled to judgment as… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reverses Certification of Antitrust Class Action Where Class Failed To Prove That Damages Could Be Determined On A Classwide Basis

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

An important and recurring issue in class actions is whether a district court must consider particular merits issues when deciding whether to certify a class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Today, in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend (pdf), No. 11-864, the Supreme Court reversed the certification of an antitrust class action because the district court… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies Review In NECA-IBEW Case

Posted in Adequacy, Class Certification, Commonality, Predominance, Securities, Typicality

We’ve been blogging about the Second Circuit’s decision in NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs (pdf), which held that a named plaintiff in a securities fraud suit might have standing in some situations to assert class action claims regarding securities that he or she never purchased. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied (pdf) Goldman’s petition… Continue Reading