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Category Archives: Motions Practice

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Supreme Court to Decide Whether All Evidence Supporting Removal Under the Class Action Fairness Act Must Be Submitted With The Notice of Removal

Posted in Motions Practice, U.S. Supreme Court

To remove a civil action from state court to federal court, the defendant must “file … a notice of removal … containing a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a). Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, No. 13-719, to decide whether… Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Can’t Evade Removal Under Class Action Fairness Act By Suing For Only Declaratory Relief

Posted in Motions Practice

Over the years, the plaintiffs’ bar has used a wide variety of stratagems to try to prevent defendants from removing class actions to federal court. We’ve previously blogged about several of them. A recent Eleventh Circuit decision addresses yet another page from the plaintiffs’ playbook. Defendants often can remove significant class actions under the Class… Continue Reading

En Banc Ninth Circuit Will Clarify When a Subdivided Mass Action Can Be Removed Under CAFA

Posted in Motions Practice

Back in December, we blogged about two cases in the Ninth Circuit that were the latest skirmishes in the fight over whether plaintiffs can evade removal under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) by artificially subdividing their mass actions. Plaintiffs have sought to make an end-run around CAFA’s provision permitting removal of mass… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds that CAFA Doesn’t Let Defendants Remove State AG Actions to Federal Court

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice, U.S. Supreme Court

When state attorneys general file suits to seek monetary recoveries based on claimed injuries to private citizens, those lawsuits look like, walk like, and quack like class actions. In fact, in most of these so-called “parens patriae” cases, the same private plaintiffs’ lawyers that bring private class actions are retained to represent states in exchange… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Picks Up ERISA Stock-Drop Case: What’s Next?

Posted in Motions Practice, Securities, U.S. Supreme Court

In what circumstances should you be permitted to invest your retirement savings in your own employer’s stock? We have blogged before about an ERISA class action pending at the Supreme Court regarding when plan fiduciaries must prevent participants from investing in employer stock. After the Solicitor General filed an amicus brief (pdf) asking the Court… Continue Reading

Will the En Banc Ninth Circuit Clarify When a Subdivided Mass Action Can Be Removed Under CAFA?

Posted in Motions Practice

We’ve blogged before about plaintiffs’ attempts to circumvent the “mass action” provisions in the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), which  allow defendants to remove to federal court certain cases raising “claims of 100 or more persons that are proposed to be tried jointly.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11)(B)(i). To evade removal, creative plaintiffs’ lawyers… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Proposed Changes To Federal Rules Governing Discovery

Posted in Motions Practice

In practice, the most significant change in modern litigation has been the dramatic increase in electronic discovery costs. As the amount of electronically stored information has skyrocketed over the past two decades, the burden on parties (chiefly businesses) to retain, review, and produce that information in litigation has exponentially increased as well. Recognizing that reality,… Continue Reading

“Food Court” Rejects Class Action Alleging That Fruit Newtons Labels Are Misleading

Posted in Motions Practice

Most people are familiar with Fig Newtons, an iconic cookie that has been around for over a century (at least according to its Wikipedia entry).  There are many other popular versions of Newtons—albeit of more recent vintage—such as raspberry and strawberry Newtons.  These fruit Newtons drew the ire of plaintiff Monique Manchouck, who filed a… Continue Reading

Update: Ninth Circuit to Decide Whether an Offer of Judgment to a Named Plaintiff Will Moot a Class Action

Posted in Motions Practice

We’ve previously written about the petition for interlocutory appeal in Chen v. Allstate Insurance Co., a TCPA class action that involves an important issue for class action practitioners:  can a named plaintiff refuse an offer of judgment for full relief and continue pursuing a class action?  The Ninth Circuit recently granted (pdf) the petition and can… Continue Reading

Judges Irked At Placeholder Class-Certification Motions Too

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice

From a practitioner’s standpoint, one of my five least-favorite recent developments in federal class-action practice is the explosion in the number of premature motions for class certification that would-be class representatives file. I understand the motivation behind these motions—often filed along with the initial complaint. Of course, they are not seriously intended to induce a… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rules that TCPA Authorizes Consumers To Retract Consent to Cell Phone Calls

Posted in Motions Practice

The spate of class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) isn’t ending anytime soon. And the risks to businesses have just increased in the Third Circuit, thanks to that court’s recent ruling that the TCPA permits consumers to retract consent to receiving calls on their cell phones placed by automatic telephone dialing systems…. Continue Reading

App Store Privacy Class Action Survives Apple’s Motion to Dismiss In Light Of Online Representations

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice

The plaintiffs’ bar continues to march forward in bringing privacy-related class actions. As we’ve written before, companies have often been able to defeat such lawsuits at the pleading stage when plaintiffs cannot allege that they suffered a harm that was concrete or cognizable. But that trend has not been universal: In a recent case involving… Continue Reading

Will the Ninth Circuit Revisit the Issue of Whether an Offer of Judgment to the Named Plaintiff Can Moot a Class Action?

Posted in Motions Practice, U.S. Supreme Court

Before the Supreme Court’s decision last Term in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, 133 S. Ct. 1523 (2013), the Ninth Circuit had held that a named plaintiff can continue to pursue a putative class action even after the defendant has extended that plaintiff an offer of judgment for the full individual relief sought in the… 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

Can Plaintiffs Gerrymander Mass Actions to Avoid Federal Jurisdiction?

Posted in Motions Practice, Uncategorized

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) provides that defendants may remove certain mass actions—cases that are proposed to be tried jointly—so long as the aggregate amount at stake is at least $5 million and there are 100 or more plaintiffs in the case. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(11). But what if plaintiffs’ counsel try… Continue Reading

“Sure I Didn’t Buy It, But I’m Suing for False Advertising Anyway!”

Posted in Motions Practice

As we have blogged before, the food and beverage industry is facing a tidal wave of class action litigation alleging false advertising under state consumer protection laws. We monitor hundreds of these cases, which often present a similar standing issue – the class representative has purchased one product, say Ben & Jerry’s All Natural Chunky… Continue Reading

Are State-Law Claims for Violating Federal Food Labeling Law Preempted?

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice

The federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”)—along with the implementing regulations promulgated by the FDA—sets out a detailed national standard for much of what appears on food and beverage labeling. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 301, et seq.; 21 C.F.R. §§ 101, et seq.; Pom Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., 679 F.3d 1170, 1175 (9th… Continue Reading

FCC Addresses Vicarious Liability Under Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Posted in Motions Practice

Plaintiffs in some TCPA class actions have taken the position that companies are strictly liable for any violation of the TCPA by third parties that make calls or send faxes on the companies’ behalf (such as third-party marketers or debt collectors).  The FCC, however, has just issued a declaratory ruling that appears to reject that… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rejects South Carolinan’s Effort To Bring Nationwide False Advertising Class Under New Jersey Law

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice

The Ninth Circuit’s decision last year in Mazza v. American Honda Motor Co. [666 F.3d 581] (a case I argued) made it more difficult to sustain a nationwide class action under California consumer protection laws. Applying California “governmental interest” choice-of-law principles, the Mazza court held that the jurisdiction having the greatest interest in supplying the… Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Nixes Requirement that All Defendants Physically Sign Notice of Removal To Federal Court

Posted in Motions Practice

The Fourth Circuit recently weighed in on a technical question involving the process for removing a case against multiple defendants to federal court—namely, whether every defendant must actually sign the notice of removal. The Fourth Circuit concluded that “[w]e can see no policy reason why removal in a multiple-defendant case cannot be accomplished by the… Continue Reading

Do Plaintiffs Have Standing To Sue Over Alleged Reduction In The Value Of Their Personal Data?

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice

A key question in many privacy class actions is whether the plaintiff has suffered an injury sufficient to confer Article III standing. Quite a number of these actions have been dismissed for lack of standing. The plaintiffs’ bar therefore has been brainstorming new theories of injury in the hope that one of them will be… 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