Tag Archives: Trial by Formula

Supreme Court Hears Argument in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo—and a Blockbuster Class Certification Ruling Seems Less Likely

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral argument in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146, a case that has been closely watched for its potential to narrow the circumstances in which a class action may be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and a collective action for unpaid wages certified under the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide Whether To Hear Four High-Stakes Cases Asking When A Suit May Be Litigated As A Class Action

The Supreme Court will decide before the end of this Term whether to hear any or all of four important cases that raise recurring questions of class action law that have sharply divided the lower courts. These cases address questions that we have blogged about before (e.g., here and here): whether a class full of … Continue Reading

Despite Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, Ninth Circuit approves statistical sampling to prove that an “unofficial” common policy exists

There seem to be two prevailing conceptions of class actions.  In one view, a class action is a way of determining many similar claims at once by evaluating common evidence that reliably establishes liability (and lays a ground work for efficiently calculating damages) for each class member.  That is, the class device produces the same … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Rejects Exceptionally Poor Sampling Method, But Leaves Open Many Questions About Sampling And Class Certification

In Duran v. U.S. Bank N.A. (pdf), the California Supreme Court recently addressed an important question in the context of state-court class actions: Can plaintiffs invoke statistical sampling in an attempt to prove class-wide liability and overcome the presence of individual questions that ordinarily would defeat class certification? The court’s answer to that question is a … Continue Reading

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

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

Federal District Court Says That Plaintiffs Bringing Representative Claims Under California’s Private Attorney General Act Don’t Have To Seek Class Certification

The California Supreme Court held in Arias v. Superior Court that a plaintiff may bring a representative action on behalf of himself and other employees to recover civil penalties under California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) without meeting California’s class-certification requirements. The court reasoned that, unlike a class action, where the plaintiff is suing on behalf … Continue Reading

How Much Discovery From Opt-Ins in FLSA Collective Actions Should Businesses Seek?

A recent federal court decision has addressed the knotty issue of a defendant’s right to discovery in an FLSA collective action from the individuals who opt into the class after it is conditionally certified but before the court decides whether to grant final certification. The case, Scott v. Bimbo Bakeries, USA, Inc. (pdf), No. 10-3154 (E.D. … Continue Reading