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 for the potential to garner substantial attorneys’ fees. While most class actions and mass actions of significance can be removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), the Supreme Court held today in Mississippi ex rel. Hood v.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds that CAFA Doesn’t Let Defendants Remove State AG Actions to Federal Court

In nearly nine years on the books, the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) has generated a host of decisions interpreting its provisions. Because the state of the law on CAFA—and class actions in general—is in constant flux, practitioners should certainly make use of online resources (like this blog) to stay up to date. But sometimes what’s needed is a desktop reference that places at one’s fingertips the answers to how to remove a case under CAFA—or how to resist that removal. To fill that need, the ABA’s Section of Litigation recently issued The Class Action Fairness Act: Law
Continue Reading Book Review: The Class Action Fairness Act: Law and Strategy

The American Tort Reform Association has released its annual report on “Judicial Hellholes”—a term it popularized for jurisdictions in which defendants often contend that they can’t get a fair shake. This year’s report identifies California, Louisiana, New York City, West Virginia, Madison & St. Clair Counties (Illinois), and South Florida as the most unfavorable jurisdictions. According to the report, these jurisdictions suffer from (among other things) overly-aggressive plaintiffs’ bars, expansive liability rules, court procedures that advantage plaintiffs, and welcoming attitudes toward forum-shopping out-of-town plaintiffs.

While the report is worth reading in full, here are some of the highlights
Continue Reading Annual Report on “Judicial Hellholes”

One of the more alarming recent developments in the class-action arena is the increase in actions by state attorneys general that mirror private class actions. These state AG actions aren’t like the typical enforcement action, in which the government pursues claims for civil penalties that are distinct from the relief sought in the private class action. Instead, these are copycat actions in every sense of the word. The state AG seeks restitution or disgorgement that is equivalent to the remedies requested in the private class action. And increasingly, the state AG is handing over the reins entirely to class-action plaintiffs’
Continue Reading You’ve Settled the Class Action—Can the State AG Demand Another Payout?

Law Seminars International is once again holding its annual class actions conference in Chicago on December 9 and 10.  As in past years, the organizers have put together a great group of speakers to address the most recent developments affecting class actions .  For my part, I am looking forward to speaking on an issue we cover frequently on the blog:  the impact of arbitration on class-action litigation.

 A copy of the conference’s agenda is available here.  If any of the blog’s readers plan to attend the conference (or will be in Chicago during that time), I would love

Continue Reading Conference On Class Actions In Chicago on December 9 and 10, 2013

Last month, the FCC’s new rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for consent telemarketing calls went into effect.  (We’ve previously discussed those rules on this blog.)  On Wednesday (November 13), I’ll be co-presenting a 90-minute CLE webinar about the new rules for Bloomberg BNA.  For more information or to register, please visit Bloomberg BNA’s event page.
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar on New TCPA Rules

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 ruling on class certification; to the contrary, they expressly request that the issue be tabled until the completion of discovery. The real reason that plaintiffs’ counsel file these motions is that they want to preclude the defendant from mooting the putative class action by making
Continue Reading Judges Irked At Placeholder Class-Certification Motions Too

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 Apple, the federal court for the Northern District of California refused to dismiss the majority of claims, in large measure because the plaintiff alleged that she relied on the company’s online representations concerning the privacy and security of personal information.

In Pirozzi v. Apple,
Continue Reading App Store Privacy Class Action Survives Apple’s Motion to Dismiss In Light Of Online Representations

As this summer comes to a close, many of our readers are no doubt making plans for the fall. If those plans include learning about the latest in class actions, you should keep reading the blog, of course! But you might also wish to consider attending this year’s annual Class Actions Conference (organized by CLE International). I am surely biased in making the recommendation, as I am co-chairing the conference with Lisa Mezzetti of Cohen Milstein, the well-known plaintiffs’ firm.

The conference, which will take place on October 3 and 4 in Washington, DC, promises to be interesting. It
Continue Reading Class Action Conference In Washington, D.C. – Save the Date!