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Eighth Circuit Clarifies the Requirements for Cy Pres Distribution of Class Action Settlement Funds

Due to what it called a “substantial history of district courts ignoring and resisting circuit court cy pres concerns and rulings in class action cases,” the Eighth Circuit recently clarified the legal principles surrounding...more

1/26/2015 - Bank of America Class Action Cy Pres Funds Nationsbank Securities Structured Settlements

Ninth Circuit Issues Companion Cases Addressing Evidence Required To Show That The Amount In Controversy Requirement Has Been Met...

Through a pair of opinions issued the same day, the Ninth Circuit attempted to clarify the evidence required for a defendant to meet its burden of showing that the amount in controversy exceeds CAFA’s $5 million threshold...more

1/23/2015 - Amount in Controversy CAFA Class Action Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens Employer Liability Issues Evidence Unpaid Overtime Unpaid Wages Wage and Hour

Third Circuit: Strict Ascertainability Optional for Rule 23(B)(2) Class

Although not explicitly set forth in Rule 23, an essential prerequisite of any action under Rule 23 is that there must be an identifiable “class” at the moment of certification. The shorthand term commonly used to refer to...more

1/22/2015 - Appeals Ascertainable Class Class Action Class Certification Declaratory Relief Injunctive Relief Rule 23 Rule 23(b)(2)

Expect Focus - Spot The Regulator, Volume IV, Fall 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Crisis Management: Five Steps to Take Before Providing That Comment - LIFE INSURANCE ..Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability to those with Ultimate...more

1/16/2015 - Automotive Loans CFTC Class Action Consumer Complaint System Data Breach Divorce Driverless Cars FCC Healthcare HIPAA Insurance Industry Life Insurance Money Market Funds Mortgages NAIC Private Equity Funds STOLI Unsolicited Faxes

Cybersecurity: Dig That Crazy Important Beat

The SEC and FINRA are maintaining a steady drumbeat to motivate regulated firms to adequately protect themselves from cyberattack. The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) began 2014 by...more

1/12/2015 - Broker-Dealer Cybersecurity FINRA OCIE SEC Strategic Enforcement Plan

California District Court Finds that CAFA’s Amount-in-Controversy Requirement was Satisfied; Denies Motion to Remand

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied plaintiff’s motion to remand, holding that plaintiff’s claim for unpaid wages and overtime satisfied CAFA’s amount-in-controversy requirement. ...more

12/24/2014 - Amount in Controversy CAFA Class Action Employer Liability Issues Finish Line Labor Code SCOTUS Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour Wages

Supreme Court Confirms That A Notice Of Removal Requires Only A “Plausible Allegation” That The Amount In Controversy Has Been Met

The Supreme Court has held that a notice of removal requires only a “plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold,” and confirmed that a notice of removal need not include evidence...more

12/19/2014 - Amount in Controversy CAFA Class Action Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens Diversity Jurisdiction Federal Jurisdiction Jurisdiction Removal SCOTUS

Second Circuit Affirms District Court’s Denial of Certification of Class of Investors Alleging Common Law Fraud Under New York Law

The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of class certification of a class of investors based on the appellants’ failure to satisfy the numerosity and commonality requirements of Rule 23(a). Following the...more

11/21/2014 - Class Action Fraud Institutional Investment Investors Morgan Stanley Rule 23 Structured Financial Products

Court Denies Motion to Remand, Rejecting Application of Home State and Local Controversy Exceptions to CAFA

The plaintiff filed a putative class action in Pennsylvania state court against two Pennsylvania defendants and one Virginia defendant, claiming that the defendants preyed on non-English speakers, illegally coercing them to...more

11/19/2014 - CAFA Employer Liability Issues Franchise Agreements Home State Exception Putative Class Actions

Pennsylvania District Court Denies Terminated Insurance Agents’ Bid for Certification

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied plaintiffs’ motion to certify certain issues under Rule 23(c)(4) and 23(b)(2), holding that the presence of numerous individualized questions, choice-of-law concerns, and other...more

10/24/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Putative Class Actions Rule 23

Correlation Is Not Causation: Class Certification Denied Because Experts’ Methodologies Fail To Show Predominate Antitrust Injury...

A California federal district court denied certification of two nationwide classes, each asserting a price-fixing conspiracy for optical disk drives (“ODD”), because the plaintiffs’ experts failed to provide a viable...more

10/23/2014 - Causation Class Action Class Certification Expert Testimony Expert Witness Medical Devices Technology

California District Court Certifies “Not Inherently Unascertainable” Consumer Class

In addition to the explicit Rule 23(a) requirements of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation, an implied prerequisite to certification is that the class must be sufficiently definite: that is,...more

10/22/2014 - Class Certification Credit Reporting Agencies Credit Reports Debt Buyers Debt Collection FDCPA HSBC Midland Funding Putative Class Actions

Life Insurer Prevails in First Circuit Appeal in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

10/22/2014 - Class Action ERISA Life Insurance Retained Asset Accounts

Texas High Court Holds State’s Unclaimed Property Act Does Not Preclude Cy Pres Distribution Of Unclaimed Class Action Settlement...

In a 5-4 decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that the cy pres provision of a class action settlement was not subject to the state’s Unclaimed Property Act. After the trial court certified a class of subcontractors whose...more

9/26/2014 - Class Action Contractors Refunds Settlement Subcontractors Unclaimed Property

What Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer May Mean for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation

Did the future course of “stock-drop” litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against fiduciaries of public company employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) take a sharp turn on June 25, 2014, when...more

9/26/2014 - ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation Stocks

Security Guards Unable To Secure Certification Without Commonality

A California federal district court recently denied a motion for class certification because the evidence presented in connection with the motion refuted plaintiffs’ attempted showing of commonality through uniform exposure...more

9/26/2014 - Commonality Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Firearms Putative Class Actions Rest and Meal Break Security Guards

Third Circuit Affirms District Court’s Denial Of Certification Of Nationwide Class Of Plaintiffs Alleging Consumer Fraud And...

Plaintiffs alleged in their putative nationwide class action complaint that Quest Diagnostics was liable for consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, and violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act for overbilling...more

9/24/2014 - Billing Class Certification FDCPA Fraud Putative Class Actions Unjust Enrichment

Court Denies Remand Holding CAFA’s Amount In Controversy Requirement Was Met

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied plaintiff’s renewed motion to remand, holding that defendants had demonstrated that it was plausible that CAFA’s amount in controversy requirement...more

8/29/2014 - CAFA Debt Collectors Putative Class Actions Remand

Court Denies Certification Citing Putative Class Representative’s Criminal History

In Dunford v. American Databank, LLC, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by including within her criminal background report charges that were more than seven years old. The...more

8/28/2014 - Class Certification Criminal Records FCRA Putative Class Actions

Class Representative’s Motion To Remand For Insufficient Amount In Controversy Doesn’t Add Up

A Kentucky federal court recently ruled that a class plaintiff may not defeat removal by understating the aggregate amount in controversy alleged in her complaint....more

8/27/2014 - CAFA Class Action Class Representatives Social Security Benefits Social Security Disability

Parens Patriae Action By State Attorney General Is Not Removable Under CAFA’s Class Action Provision

A federal district court in Hawaii held that a parens patriae action brought on behalf of the State of Hawaii by its Attorney General was not removable under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) because it was not a class...more

8/1/2014 - Attorney Generals Bristol-Myers Squibb CAFA Class Action Parens Patriae Pharmaceutical Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Ascertainability Issues Preclude Certification of a Class of Individuals Alleging Violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices...

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification citing plaintiffs’ failure to satisfy Rule 23’s ascertainability, commonality, typicality, and predominance...more

7/31/2014 - Ascertainable Class Class Action Class Certification Debt Collection FDCPA

No Revival Of Class Claims For Plaintiff Who Delayed Amending His Complaint In Bad Faith

An Illinois federal district court has ruled that a class plaintiff whose motion for class certification was denied may not avoid that outcome by amending his complaint to introduce a new legal theory and revised class...more

7/30/2014 - Amended Complaints Bad Faith Class Action Class Certification TCPA

First Circuit Finds for Life Insurer in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

7/10/2014 - Appeals Breach of Duty ERISA Insurers Life Insurance Retained Asset Accounts Unum Life Insurance Company

Lack Of Predominance, Superiority, And Ascertainability Foreclose Mortgagors’ Proposed Class Action Alleging Kickbacks In...

The Central District of California denied certification of a putative nationwide class of mortgagors, holding that numerous individualized issues precludeda finding of predominance, superiority, or ascertainability. In...more

7/3/2014 - Ascertainable Class Escrow Holders Kickbacks Mortgage Escrow Account Predominance Requirement Putative Class Actions RESPA Subsidiaries

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