Ascertainable Class

News & Analysis as of

Two Recent Opinions Reflect Important Developments in Heightened Ascertainability for Class Certification

“Ascertainability”—that is, whether class members can be ascertained with administrative efficiency—continues to develop as a significant issue in class certification. Two recent opinions, Brecher v. Republic of Argentina,...more

Ascertainability in Class Actions: Second Circuit Weighs In

Ascertainability has been a hot topic in class action appeals recently. The Third Circuit recently clarified its ascertainability standard (see my April 20 blog post). The committee considering potential Rule 23 amendments is...more

The Class Action Chronicle - Fall 2015

This is the ninth edition of The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings...more

Class Action Round-Up: Summer 2015

The big news this quarter is the U.S. Supreme Court’s acceptance of Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, an employment case likely to have major ramifications across the whole spectrum of class action litigation. The Court is set...more

California Federal District Court Certifies Class of 160,000 Uber Drivers

In O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (Filed 09/01/2015, No. C-13-3826 EMC), the United States District Court, Northern District of California, certified a class of approximately 160,000 current and former drivers of Uber in...more

New Jersey Federal Baked Goods Fraud Class Actions Are Toast

On this date in 1901 (September 2nd), Teddy Roosevelt for the first time uttered in public the immortal phrase, "Speak softly and carry a big stick". It is hard to find people who do not admire that statement. It is harder...more

A Classy Affair: Class Action Lawyers Race to Courthouse in Wake of Ashley Madison Data Breach

Illicit affairs have always imposed risks – from marital discord and divorce to boiling bunnies and Maury appearances. However, when old-school adultery met new-school technology on the Ashley Madison infidelity website,...more

Grasping for a Hold on “Ascertainability”: The Implicit Requirement for Class Certification and its Evolving Application

The concept of “ascertainability” serves as an important arrow in the quiver of a defendant seeking to prevent certification of a putative class action in federal court. Recently, the issue of what a plaintiff must...more

Splitting the Difference: Recent Developments in Circuit Splits Over Class Action Lawsuits

It has been a busy summer for federal appellate courts deciding class action issues. Amidst all the sound and fury, this summer's decisions so far highlight two splits among the federal circuits, while also diminishing if...more

Seventh Circuit Applies “Weak” Ascertainability Requirement, Splits From Third and Eleventh Circuits

A panel from the Seventh Circuit split from the Third and Eleventh Circuits and rejected what it described to be a “heightened” ascertainability requirement under Rule 23(b)(3). In Mullins v. Direct Digital, LLC, plaintiff...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Third Circuit’s “Heightened” Ascertainability Analysis

Critics of the controversial ascertainability requirement for class certification that the Third Circuit has been applying since 2012 are rejoicing after a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that flatly rejects...more

The Pitfalls of Ascertaining Ascertainability: Seventh Circuit Declines to Adopt Heightened Threshold Requirement for Class...

Although not explicitly stated in the text of Rule 23, for several decades courts have held that a putative class must be clearly defined and based on objective criteria as prerequisites to class certification. Courts and...more

Mulling Mullins

The 7th Circuit's July 28th decision in Mullins v. Direct Digital, LLC has already created quite a stir. Plaintiffs' lawyers are citing it as the antidote to the 3rd Circuit's recent line of cases on the implied requirement...more

Skinnygirl Margarita Class Rejected Again: Proof Fell Below Third Circuit’s High Bar for Ascertainability

A New Jersey federal court ruled that plaintiffs once again failed to demonstrate the ascertainability of a class of purchasers seeking to challenge “all natural” claims by the makers of Skinnygirl Margarita. Stewart v. Beam...more

All About That Base: Claim Against Fat Loss Supplement Maker Fails For Lack of Ascertainability

Adam Karhu bought a dietary supplement called VPX Meltdown Fat Incinerator (“Meltdown”) in reliance on advertising by Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“VPX”) that Meltdown would result in fat loss. Concerned that Meltdown did not...more

Eleventh Circuit opinion on ascertainability will likely make it tougher to certify classes of purchasers of small-dollar consumer...

A panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, has issued a much-anticipated decision regarding the implicit ascertainability requirement for class certification. The court held that a...more

NJ Appellate Division Refuses Ascertainability Analysis in “Low-Value” Consumer Class Actions

Action Item: The New Jersey Appellate Division for the first time reviews the rapidly developing ascertainability doctrine and holds that the doctrine does not apply to low value consumer fraud class actions, setting the...more

“Game Over”: Aliens vs. Consumer Class Action

Two video game enthusiasts brought a consumer class action suit against Sega of America, Inc. (“Sega”) and Gearbox Software, LLC (“Gearbox”) for their alleged disappointment in the quality of the video game “Aliens: Colonial...more

Consumer Class Actions Against Liquor Producers Follow Familiar Path

Plaintiffs’ class action attorneys tend to follow trends. They are a savvy breed of attorney, at once creative and lazy (or efficient, depending on one’s perspective). One attorney discovers a statute, claim, or industry, and...more

Third Circuit Emphasizes Distinction between Ascertainability Analysis and Rule 23 Requirements

Action Item: Byrd, the latest in a recent line of cases from the Third Circuit concerning the ascertainability standard, emphasizes the importance of keeping the ascertainability analysis distinct from Rule 23’s other...more

Arthur Miller on Aggregate Litigation

I’ve written before about legal giant Arthur Miller (now with the Lanier Law Firm) and his pessimistic take on modern federal procedure. In the ‘teens, he has largely worried about the effect of procedural rulings on the...more

Third Circuit Clarifies Standard for Ascertainability

In a recent ruling vacating denial of class certification, the Third Circuit provided guidance on the scope of the implied “ascertainability” requirement under Rule 23. Byrd v. Aaron’s, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6190 (3d...more

CAFA Removal: A Second Bite at the Apple?

Until a couple of years ago, plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to keep their class actions in state court would frequently stipulate that they would not seek damages in excess of the $5 million CAFA threshold. This practice fell...more

A Byrd in the Hand

Recently, I had the privilege of moderating a panel in Boston discussing hot topics in class actions. We had a terrific group of panelists, including three (besides myself) who represent defendants in class actions and one...more

Third Circuit Clarifies the Ascertainability Standard in Class Certification Proceedings

In a precedential opinion issued on April 16, 2015, the Third Circuit sought to clarify its requirement that a proposed class be sufficiently ascertainable in order to be certified under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3). Expressing...more

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