Ben Seessel

Ben Seessel

Carlton Fields

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Adding to Circuit Split, Divided Ninth Circuit Finds Concerted Action Waiver in Ernst & Young’s Employment Agreement Unenforceable...

Ernst & Young’s (“E&Y”) employment agreements contained “separate proceedings” and arbitration provisions, which together required that disputes be resolved individually through arbitration, rather than collectively through...more

9/6/2016 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Collective Actions Ernst & Young Federal Arbitration Act Mandatory Arbitration Clauses NLRA NLRB Protected Concerted Activity Section 7

NTIS Mandates New Requirements to Access the Death Master File

In June, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) promulgated a final rule setting out the requirements to become certified to access the Death Master File (DMF). The final rule amends the DMF certification program...more

8/25/2016 - Bipartisan Budget Act Certification Requirements Databases Death Master Files Final Rules Insurance Industry National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Penalties Privacy Laws Qualified Written Requests Social Security Administration (SSA)

Eleventh Circuit’s Liberal Reading of Bonner Mall a Game Changer for Class Actions?

An Eleventh Circuit panel recently vacated two district court orders after sending the parties to mediation, and after the parties’ conditioned settlement on vacatur of the orders. In Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v....more

8/1/2016 - Attorney's Fees Class Action Exceptional Case Hartford Casualty Ins. Mediation Settlement Summary Judgment Vacated Vacatur

Court Orders Additional Notice to Class Regarding Counsel’s Request for Fees Based on Work Performed Following Initial Fee Award

The Northern District of Illinois vacated its grant of fees to class counsel for work performed following an initial fee award, finding that Rule 23(h) required notice to the class regarding counsel’s new fee request, even...more

7/7/2016 - Appeals Attorney's Fees Class Action Fee Awards Southwest Airlines Vacated

Declined: Second Circuit Panel Shreds Visa and MasterCard Antitrust Settlement

A Second Circuit panel rejected the settlement reached between defendants Visa, MasterCard, and various banks, and plaintiffs, approximately 12 million merchants who alleged the principally identical network rules of Visa and...more

7/6/2016 - Anti-Competitive Banking Sector Banks Class Action Credit Cards Due Process Fourteenth Amendment MasterCard Merchants Rule 23(b)(2) Rule 23(b)(3) Settlement Sherman Act Visa Inc

Florida Imposes Additional Unclaimed Property Requirements on Life Insurers

On April 12, Florida Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 0966 into law. SB 0966 amends the insurance benefits provisions of Florida’s Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, Fl. Stat. Section 717.107. These amendments effectively...more

4/13/2016 - Death Benefits Florida Insurance Industry Insurance Regulations Life Insurance New Legislation Unclaimed Property

Court Holds Notice of Removal Filed 128 Days After Service of Complaint Was Timely Under CAFA

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey denied plaintiffs’ motion to remand, holding that defendants’ notice of removal, filed 128 days after service of the complaint, was timely because neither the complaint...more

4/1/2016 - CAFA Independent Contractors Misclassification Motion to Remand Putative Class Actions Removal Wage and Hour

Questions About Delivery Drivers’ Employee/Independent Contractor Status Preclude Commonality and Predominance Findings

A New Jersey district court denied certification of a putative class of furniture delivery drivers and helpers employed by various transportation companies (the “Driver/Helpers”) and individuals who owned those transportation...more

3/30/2016 - Class Certification Commonality Corporate Counsel Independent Contractors Misclassification Predominance Requirement Putative Class Actions Rule 23(b)(3) Transportation Industry Wage and Hour Williams-Sonoma

2015 Food Industry Decisions With Bite

Food for Thought is a review of significant court decisions affecting the food, beverage, dietary supplements and personal care products industry. Although many cases in this edition focus on class certification, others...more

2/15/2016 - Ascertainable Class CAFA Chobani Inc Class Action Class Certification ConAgra Dietary Supplements FDCA Food Contamination Food Labeling Food Manufacturers Natural Products Ocean Spray Organic Preemption Rule 23(b)(3) Standing

FTC's Big Data Report Provides Road Map for Insurers Using Big Data

On January 6, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") released a report entitled "Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion? Understanding the Issues" ("Report") that follows the FTC's September 15, 2014 workshop on "the...more

1/27/2016 - Big Data Discrimination FCRA FTC Insurance Industry Popular Title VII

Bill to Amend Florida’s Unclaimed Property Act Regarding Unclaimed Insurance Benefits Moves to Senate Floor

On January 19, the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a Senate bill (“SB 966”) that would modify Florida’s existing Unclaimed Property Act (the “Act”) requirements regarding unclaimed insurance benefits....more

1/26/2016 - Florida Insurance Industry Life Insurance Pending Legislation Unclaimed Property

Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016, Passes House and Heads to Senate

On January 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a 211-188 vote along party lines, H.R. 1927, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2016. The bill would amend U.S....more

1/20/2016 - Asbestos Class Certification Pending Legislation Putative Class Actions The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015

eCommerce Regulation, Bitcoin, Anti-Money Laundering, Shadow Insurance, 401(k) Litigation [Expect Focus – Vol. IV, Fall 2015]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - California Passes Life and Annuity Electronic Transactions Law LIFE INSURANCE - - Under a Spotlight, "Shadow Insurance" Lawsuit Fails Scrutiny - NAIC Evaluates Insurer’s Use of Variable...more

1/11/2016 - 401k Administrative Proceedings Big Data Bitcoin BSA/AML E-Commerce Medical Devices SEC STOLI Takedown Notices Variable Annuities

Solicitors Argue to U.S. Supreme Court That Vermont Health Care Reporting Law Is Not Preempted By ERISA

The Supreme Court will soon consider whether, as applied to self-insured health benefit plans or their third-party administrators, ERISA preempts a Vermont law requiring health care payers to report claims and other data to a...more

1/4/2016 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits ERISA Health Insurance Insurance Industry Preemption Reporting Requirements

Michigan District Court Holds TCPA “Junk Fax” Class Ascertainable, Certifies Class

The Eastern District of Michigan recently certified a class of plaintiffs suing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), rejecting the defendants’ arguments that: (1) there would be “significant issues” identifying...more

12/30/2015 - Class Certification Motion for Summary Judgment Putative Class Actions TCPA Unsolicited Faxes

NAIC's Market Regulation Committee Adopts Broad Charge to Explore Insurers' Big Data Use

On December 11, the Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs (D) Committee (Market Reg Committee) of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted the following charge... ...more

12/16/2015 - Big Data Insurance Industry NAIC Regulatory Standards Underwriting

Will the UK's Scrutiny of Insurers' Use of Big Data Impact U.S. Regulators?

On November 24, the United Kingdom's financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued a "Call for Inputs" regarding insurers' use of Big Data. The FCA asked for views, supported by examples and evidence, of...more

12/3/2015 - Big Data Competition Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Insurance Industry Regulatory Oversight

California District Court Holds Class Action Alleging Securities Act Claims Not Removable Under SLUSA

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently clarified the criteria for removal of a securities class action filed in state court under the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C. §§ 77a, et...more

11/4/2015 - Class Action Initial Public Offerings IPO Motion to Remand Securities Act Securities Fraud Securities Litigation SLUSA

Northern District of Texas Won’t Certify Class of GM Employees Alleging Religious Accommodation Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas refused certify a class of GM employees alleging Title VII religious accommodation claims because the class was not ascertainable and plaintiffs failed to satisfy the...more

11/3/2015 - Civil Rights Act Class Action Class Certification General Motors Religious Accommodation Religious Discrimination Title VII Unpaid Leave Wage and Hour

Catching Up To Insurers’ Use of Big Data

Various groups within the NAIC are beginning to study the way in which insurers are using big data. On the property and casualty front, the Market Regulation (D) (Market Reg) Committee is reviewing the use of big data in...more

10/2/2015 - Algorithms Analytics Big Data Claim Procedures FCRA Insurance Industry NAIC Underwriting

Ninth Circuit Holds District Court Erred In Denying Certification To Class Of Google Advertisers

A Ninth Circuit panel reversed a district court’s order denying certification of a putative nationwide class of internet advertisers, holding that the district court erred in finding that plaintiff failed to satisfy Rule...more

10/1/2015 - Advertising AdWords Appeals Class Action Class Certification Comcast Comcast v. Behrend Google Online Advertisements Putative Class Actions Rule 23(b)(3) Unfair Competition Websites

Cybersecurity as a Regulatory Issue: The NAIC Considers The Anthem Breach And Weighs a “Cybersecurity Bill of Rights”

The Cybersecurity Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the “NAIC”) met last month, as part of on the NAIC’s 2015 Summer National Meeting in Chicago. The Task Force focused on two issues: the...more

9/3/2015 - Anthem Blue Cross Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Cyber Attacks Cyber Crimes Cyber Insurance Cyber Threats Cybersecurity Cybersecurity Framework Data Breach Data Protection Data Security FBI Healthcare Insurance Industry NAIC Popular Task Force

CAFA Jurisdiction: Cases Consolidated in California Cannot be Split by the Local Controversy Exception

Assuming its other requirements are satisfied, the local controversy exception to CAFA jurisdiction requires a district court to remand a class action if, during the three-year period preceding the filing of that action,...more

9/1/2015 - CAFA Class Action Employment Discrimination Gender Discrimination Jurisdiction Race Discrimination

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