News & Analysis as of

Class Action Claims: Gluing Together Systemwide Judicial Relief

The award of class action certification is often the gateway for obtaining lifesaving systemwide judicial relief in broken correctional health care systems. It also can be the beginning of a decades-long, burdensome and...more

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

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

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...more

Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, LP v. Ratner et al.: Proving Commonality in Class Certification Cases Post-Wal-Mart v. Dukes

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011) — which heightened requirements for plaintiffs seeking class certification — at least two courts reviewing toxic-tort issues have...more

7th Circuit Vacates Decision Declining To Certify Consumer Class Against Roofing Shingle Manufacturer Based On Incorrect Reading...

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a decision declining to certify a consumer class against IKO Manufacturing, in which the district court wrote that “commonality of damages” is essential, reasoning that the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Denied Petition Seeking Review of Fourth Circuit’s Interpretation of Wal-Mart v. Dukes

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Family Dollar Stores, Inc.’s petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Scott, et. al. v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 12-1610 (4th Cir....more

California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich

Commentators have quipped that class certification is so easy in California that with little effort a group of plaintiffs could certify even a ham sandwich. In fact, we have seen a proliferation of recent appellate decisions...more

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

In Duran v. U.S. Bank N.A., 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...more

California Supreme Court Stabilizes the Law in California Misclassification Class Action Cases

In a long-awaited decision, the California Supreme Court in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, S200923 (May 29, 2014), clarified California's standard for certifying class actions in employee misclassification cases. In...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Police Officers’ Age Bias Class Action Over Scrapped Exam

Stockwell v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 12-15070 (April 24, 2014): In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals diluted the Supreme Court of the United States’ holding in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes,...more

California Supreme Court Pounds Another Nail into the Coffin of “Trial by Formula” in Class Actions

The California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association yesterday, addressing the use of statistical sampling as a way of evaluating aggregate liability and damages in a class...more

Duran v. U.S. Bank National: California Supreme Court Finds Class Certification Violated Due Process

The Supreme Court of California released its decision in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association on May 29, 2014. The decision will likely reshape the landscape of class-action practice in California. ...more

California District Court Finds Commonality Lacking Under Dukes Analysis; Denies Certification

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied certification in a false advertising case brought under California’s False Advertising Law (FAL), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the Unfair...more

Securities Class Actions Receive Increased Scrutiny: District Court Applies “Stringent Standards” Of Dukes And Comcast To Deny...

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently denied certification of a putative securities law class after finding that plaintiff failed to put forth actual facts showing adequacy and...more

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

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Address Certification Issues Raised by Whirlpool & Related Washing Machine Class Actions

On February 24, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in three “moldy” washing machine class actions, which presented questions regarding Fed. R. Civ. P. 23’s commonality and predominance requirements as clarified by...more

Got Class? Wage and Hour Class Actions in a Post-Brinker World

In 2012, employers awaited the California Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court with the bated-breath anticipation of a presidential election, or an Olympic luge race. And, boy, was it worth...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Demands That Courts Serve As Gatekeepers For Expert Testimony — Will That Rule Be Extended to Class Actions?...

In the battle over class certification, expert testimony proffered by both plaintiffs and defendants is playing an increasingly important role. The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the test for admissibility of...more

"Mass Tort and Consumer Class Action Outlook: A Mixed Landscape for Defendants in 2014"

Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have improved the landscape for defendants seeking to fend off mass tort and consumer class actions. In Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), the Supreme Court tightened...more

BakerHostetler 2013 Year-End Review of Class Actions (and what to expect in 2014)

I. Introduction - Library shelves will someday swell with history books about the U.S. Supreme Court under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts. No doubt sensational cases about corporate speech, national...more

Moldy Washing Machines at the Supreme Court: A Platform for Further Development of Rule 23?

Three cases about moldy washing machines currently sit at the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for their names to be called. The cases are nearly identical consumer products class actions, and they have enormous potential to shape...more

Two Washer Cases Provide The Supreme Court With Its Best Opportunity Since Wal-Mart V. Dukes To Make Sense Of Class-Certification...

At its conference on January 10, the Supreme Court can get serious about fixing consumer class actions. The Justices should take up that challenge, because it will consider two certiorari petitions that seek review of class...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2013

This month we look at part two of our three part series on Class Actions. In part two, Robert Rachal, Page Griffin and Madeline Chimento Rea address Wal-Mart's Rule 23(b) principles, including some defenses to plaintiffs' use...more

Wal-Mart Plaintiffs Seek to Change the Rules

After the Supreme Court rejected a nationwide class action by female Wal-Mart workers in the 2011 Dukes case, the plaintiffs filed smaller class actions in different parts of the country. Wal-Mart has persuaded several of the...more

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