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Tag Archives: Ninth Circuit

Class Action Fairness Act Roundup

Posted in Motions Practice

Nine years after the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) was enacted, parties continue to fight over when federal jurisdiction over significant class and mass actions is proper. In this post, we provide a rundown of some of the most important recent cases involving CAFA.

POM v. Coke Does Not Alter The Landscape for Food False Advertising Class Actions

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

After the oral argument in POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co. (pdf), No. 12-761, the Supreme Court appeared all but certain to allow competitors to sue for false advertising under the Lanham Act over labels of FDA-regulated food products.  Food manufactures have been waiting to see just how broad the ruling would be and whether it… Continue Reading

Primary Jurisdiction is Gaining Some Weight in the Food Court

Posted in Class Action Trends, Motions Practice

The plaintiffs’ bar continues to file consumer class actions challenging food and beverage labels en masse, especially in the Northern District of California—also known as the “Food Court.” One particular line of cases—at least 52 class actions, at last count—targets companies selling products containing evaporated cane juice. The battle over evaporated cane juice has become… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Rejects Effort At End Run Around The Ascertainability Requirement

Posted in Ascertainability, Class Certification

We previously wrote about the Third Circuit’s decision in Carrera v. Bayer Corp., which reversed a district court’s class-certification order because there was no reliable way to ascertain class membership—indeed, no way to identify who was a member of the class aside from a class member’s own say-so. Last week, the full Third Circuit denied (pdf) the… Continue Reading

Another California Court Does Backflips to Thwart Arbitration and Elevate The Class-Action Device

Posted in Arbitration

The hostility of some California courts to arbitration—and their resistance to preemption under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)—has produced nearly three decades of U.S. Supreme Court reversals. The most recent is AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, which held that the FAA preempted the Discover Bank rule, under which the California Supreme Court had blocked enforcement… 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

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Fair Labor Standards Act Requires Compensating Employees for End-of-Shift Security Screenings

Posted in Employment, U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court makes its biggest headlines when it wades into the biggest issues of the day. But the Supreme Court also maintains a substantial docket of seemingly small—but ultimately important—technical questions. In recent years, the Court has been particularly interested in defining precisely when an hourly employee is on and off the clock. For… 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

Will A New Wave Of Class Actions Spring From Patent Infringement Litigation?

Posted in Class Action Trends

It is no secret that many private class actions are filed as follow-on lawsuits to news reports, government investigations, regulatory developments, and identical earlier-filed class actions. But a recent gambit by the plaintiffs’ bar is among the more creative efforts we have seen. Earlier this week, a well-known plaintiffs’ firm filed Dang v. Samsung Electronics… Continue Reading

What’s Going On With Class Actions Alleging That Businesses That Record Customer-Service Calls Are Violating California’s Invasion of Privacy Act?

Posted in Class Action Trends

Since 2006, companies based outside California have been alert to the potential burdens of class actions under California’s Invasion of Privacy Act (“CIPA”), Cal. Penal Code § 630 et seq. The laws of most states, as well as federal law, allow telephone calls to be recorded with the consent of one party to the call…. Continue Reading

Hall Street Runs Both Ways: Parties Can Neither Waive Nor Expand Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards, Says Ninth Circuit

Posted in Arbitration

Back in 2008, the Supreme Court held in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, L.L.C. that parties to an arbitration agreement subject to the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) cannot agree to empower a federal court with more searching judicial review than section 10 of that Act specifies. According to the Ninth Circuit, just as the… 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

Fifth Circuit Overturns NLRB’s Anti-Arbitration D.R. Horton Ruling

Posted in Arbitration

We have frequently chronicled the ongoing efforts of the plaintiffs’ bar to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, which held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires the enforcement of parties’ agreements to resolve their disputes through individual arbitration rather than class or collective proceedings. One of the most prominent… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski Objects to Class Settlement

Posted in Class Action Settlements

It’s always worth a look when a federal judge steps down from Olympus the bench to act as an ordinary mortal litigant.  Class action aficionados in particular should not  miss Alison Frankel’s report for Reuters, discussing a remarkable objection by Chief Judge Kozinksi and his wife to approval of a class settlement in a case in which he happens to be a class member.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ninth Circuit Narrows California Exception To Arbitration Agreements, But Puts Off Deciding Whether FAA Preempts The Exception Altogether

Posted in Arbitration

Earlier today, the Ninth Circuit issued its en banc opinion in Kilgore v. KeyBank, N.A. The court had granted en banc review to decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts California’s so-called “Broughton/Cruz” rule, which declares that claims for “public” injunctive relief under California consumer protection statutes are unsuitable for, and exempt from, arbitration. As… 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