Greg Mersol

Greg Mersol

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California District Court Finds Bankrupt Named Plaintiffs Not Adequate Representatives

Anyone questioning whether the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), has had an impact need look no further than the decision in Alakozai v. Chase Investment Services Corp., Case...more

10/16/2014 - Class Action Consumer Bankruptcy Dukes v Wal-Mart Employer Liability Issues Misclassification SCOTUS Wage and Hour Wal-Mart

Seventh Circuit Rejects Attorney Fee Award Premised on Administrative Costs

As we’ve commented before, class actions frequently take on a life of their own. They involve large sums of money, frequently raise difficult discovery and case management issues, and are subject to surprises for all the...more

10/8/2014 - Attorney's Fees CAFA Class Action Complex Litigation Litigation Fees & Costs Putative Class Actions RadioShack Settlement

Merits Trump Certification Issues in Two Southern District of New York Cases

Three years ago, the Supreme Court found in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541, 2551-52 (2011) that courts “frequently” will need to look to the merits in determining whether certification is appropriate,...more

9/25/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Dukes v Wal-Mart Putative Class Actions SCOTUS

Minnesota District Court Rejects Nationwide Scope and Conditionally Certifies Class of One Chipotle Store

Employees win most motions for conditional certification under the FLSA, with many courts declining to perform a probing analysis at that stage. A recent case from the District of Minnesota, in which the court still applied a...more

9/19/2014 - Chipotle Grill Class Action Class Certification Employer Liability Issues Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Allegations for Vague Pleading

Whenever I see the names of the Iqbal and Twombly pleading cases, I can’t help but feel that the names were clipped from lost lines of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem, perhaps as something similar to “Iqbal were the Civil...more

9/18/2014 - Appeals Class Action Dismissals Employer Liability Issues FLSA Hospitals Wage and Hour

District Court Refuses to Certify Class of “Non-Liturgical” Protestant Navy Chaplains

Given the rich diversity and array of religions, and the First Amendment prohibitions both on the establishment of religion and impeding the free exercise of religion, the appointment and promotion of chaplains in the...more

9/9/2014 - Class Action Class Certification First Amendment Religion U.S. Navy

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Claims Regarding Disability Benefits

ERISA benefit claims are frequently of only modest size individually, but can become overwhelming in a class context. A decision this week from the Sixth Circuit affirms the dismissal of a putative class-wide disability claim...more

9/2/2014 - Class Action Disability Disability Benefits ERISA Putative Class Actions

New York District Court Conditionally Certifies Class of Interns

In Mark v. Gawker Media LLC, Case No. 13-cv-4347(AJN) (S.D. N.Y. Aug. 15, 2014), Gawker became the subject of yet another in a line of cases involving unpaid interns. Four interns brought suit under the FLSA, contending that...more

8/21/2014 - Class Action Employer Liability Issues FLSA Gawker Social Networks Unpaid Interns Wage and Hour

Court Rejects Pseudo-Expert Reports and Refuses to Certify Off-the-Clock Case

Off-the-clock cases involving call centers have been in vogue for a number of years despite lingering issues regarding whether they can truly be resolved on a class-wide basis. A recent case from the District of Maryland,...more

8/18/2014 - Class Action Employer Liability Issues Off-The-Clock Wage and Hour Wages

Second Circuit Finds Auditors Exempt and Endorses Limits on Class Discovery

While the number of class or collective action lawsuits has exploded, decisions from Circuit Courts of Appeal, particularly on procedural issues, are still infrequent enough to warrant comment. In Pippins v. KPMG, Case No....more

7/29/2014 - Accountants Appeals Auditors Class Action Corporate Counsel Discovery Employer Liability Issues Exemptions FLSA KPMG

Arizona District Court Rejects Joint Employer Arguments in Independent Contractor Case Alleging Misclassification of Truck Drivers

A month ago we discussed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., Case No. 12-56589 (9th Cir. June 16, 2014), in which the employer treated its delivery drivers as employees in everything but name,...more

7/21/2014 - Class Action Delivery Drivers Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues FLSA Independent Contractors Misclassification Over-Time Trucking Industry Unpaid Overtime

California District Court Rejects Shotgun Attacks on Arbitration Agreements

Alright, we all know in the wake of Italian Colors, Concepcion, and now many other cases that the presumption of arbitrability isn’t just a doctrine to recite in the manner of saying grace before invalidating an agreement,...more

7/15/2014 - American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration Arbitration Agreements AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Corporate Counsel

First Circuit Rejects Equitable Tolling In Class Action Arising Out Of Plant Closing

A luggage plant in France closes in 2007, so a class action suit for French post-termination benefits is brought against a former investor in Massachusetts in late 2011? Former Justice Souter joins the majority in the First...more

6/18/2014 - Class Action Equitable Tolling Fraudulent Concealment Popular

Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Class Action DFR Complaint Involving Airline Merger

One deliberately ironic facet of the 2004 film Howard Hughes bio-pic The Aviator (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) is the fact that the airlines fighting for world dominance in the 1940s were Howard Hughes’ TWA and Juan...more

6/13/2014 - Airlines American Airlines Chapter 11 Class Action Commercial Bankruptcy Duty of Fair Representation Motion to Dismiss Seniority Union Membership Unions

Ninth Circuit Narrowly Upholds Class Settlement In Misclassification Case

We’ve commented several times recently on the increasing scrutiny courts are giving to class action settlements generally, and to attorney fee awards in particular. A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit, although it...more

6/9/2014 - Attorney's Fees Class Action Equitable Relief Franchises Misclassification Settlement

California Supreme Court (!) Issues Strong Pro-Defense Wage and Hour Class Action Decision

“Depending on the nature of the claimed exemption and the facts of a particular case, a misclassification claim has the potential to raise numerous individual questions that may be difficult, or even impossible, to litigate...more

5/30/2014 - Class Action Employer Liability Issues Exemptions Misclassification Wage and Hour Wages

California District Court Rejects Class Action Settlement Due To Fee, Enhancement, and Other Issues

Do your homework before you seek approval of a class action settlement! Meals on airlines have all but disappeared for anyone other than those in first class, but the company Sky Chefs contends on its website that it...more

5/28/2014 - Airlines Attorney's Fees Class Action Fees Litigation Fees & Costs Penalty Enhancements Settlement

Eighth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment On Overtime Claims For Class of Tax Professionals

Relatively few FLSA cases are certified and then reach a court of appeals on the merits, but that recently happened before the Eight Circuit. In Petroski v. H&R Block Enterprises, LLC, Case No. 13-2076 (8th Cir. May 2, 2014),...more

5/23/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Employee Definition FLSA H&R Block Hiring & Firing Tax Preparers Training Wage and Hour

Ninth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Refusal To Certify Age Discrimination Class

The most famous, if fictional, San Francisco police Inspector was, of course, Inspector Harry Callahan of the Dirty Harry succession of Clint Eastwood films. The first Dirty Harry movie came out in 1971when its star, known...more

5/8/2014 - ADEA Age Discrimination Class Action Class Certification Discrimination

California District Court Rejects Overtime Settlement Over $50,000 Incentive Awards

Large incentive awards continue to jeopardize class action settlements. We wrote on February 14 about recent cases in which Circuit Courts rejected settlements due to disproportionate incentive awards. A recent case from the...more

4/29/2014 - Class Action Incentive Awards Over-Time Settlement Unpaid Overtime

Massachusetts Court Refuses to Certify Case Involving Alleged Independent Contractor Misclassification

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently issued a case involving the straight-forward application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011),...more

3/19/2014 - Class Action Class Certification Commonality Dukes v Wal-Mart Independent Contractors Misclassification

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of RICO Claims

Is there a statute with a better acronym than RICO? The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, apart from its great acronym, has been both a great success and a tool for misuse. We don’t often see RICO...more

3/18/2014 - Class Action Corruption Dismissals Racketeering RICO Undocumented Immigrants Wages

Ninth Circuit “Chases” Away Another Option for Removing PAGA Actions to Federal Court

In yet another setback for employers seeking to remove California wage and hour cases to federal court, the Ninth Circuit held that the federal Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) provides federal courts with no basis to...more

3/17/2014 - CAFA Class Action Federal Jurisdiction Jurisdiction PAGA Removal

Washington (State) District Court Dismisses Putative ADA Class Action

As we’ve commented before, disability claims are particularly poor fodder for class actions. Unlike other protected traits, there are often threshold questions as to whether an individual is even in a protected class. Even in...more

3/7/2014 - ADA Class Action Disability Dismissals Putative Class Actions

Incentive Awards, Bounties, and Adequacy of Representation

A common feature of class action settlements, whether in employment actions or otherwise, is the payment of an incentive award to the named plaintiff. Such payments are frequently approved by courts, but have been criticized...more

2/17/2014 - CAFA Class Action Incentives Settlement

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