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

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!

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is a favorite of the plaintiffs’ class-action bar because it provides for statutory damages of up to $1,500 for knowing or willful violations. With some exceptions, the TCPA prohibits, among other things, unsolicited marketing faxes as well as calls and text messages using autodialers or prerecorded voices. See, e.g., 47 U.S.C. §227. Because the TCPA and its regulations impose many complex and technical requirements, the inevitability of innocent slip-ups combined with an active plaintiffs’ bar seeking out clever ways to argue that lawful practices are actionable can entail massive potential liability
Continue Reading Are You Prepared for the New TCPA Rules? The Plaintiffs’ Bar Is.

Lawsuits under the federal Truth in Lending (TILA) Act are commonly filed as putative class actions. An interesting report from the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports that TILA litigation in federal courts has decreased 89 percent in the last four years. In particular, in May 2013, only 16 new TILA actions were filed in federal court. By contrast, four years ago, in May 2009, 152 TILA actions were filed.

Here is a graph from TRAC’s report, which shows that the rate of TILA filings today is below 2008 levels:

Continue Reading The Flood of Truth in Lending Act Litigation May Be Ebbing

Carlton Fields recently published a survey (pdf) of 368 general counsel and other in-house counsel at major companies across more than 25 industries regarding the class actions they faced in 2012 and their expectations for 2013. A number of the findings were quite interesting:

  • In-house counsel reported that their companies spent $2.1 billion on class actions in 2012, a slight decline from 2011. Per-company spending, however, varied widely, with some companies spending $100 million a year and some as little as $180,000. The per-company average was $3.19 million.
  • In 2012, the typical class action cost $671,100 annually, a

Continue Reading In-House Counsel Predictions of Class Action Trends