Putative Class Actions

News & Analysis as of

Rupa Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music Inc. - USDC, Central District of California, September 23, 2015

District court grants plaintiffs summary judgment, holding that defendants never acquired rights in and do not own valid copyright to lyrics of “Happy Birthday to You.” In 1893, the Hills assigned their rights to the...more

The Ninth Circuit Declares That Individualized Damages Issues Alone Never, Ever Preclude Certification of a Rule 23(b)(3) Class

In Pulaski & Middleman, LLC v. Google, Inc., No. 12-16752, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723 (9th Cir. Sept. 21, 2015), a Ninth Circuit panel held that individualized damages (or restitution) calculations cannot alone defeat Rule...more

Tyranny of the Minority: North Carolina Business Court Explores Potential Fiduciary Duties of Minority Shareholders

The North Carolina Business Court recently issued an opinion considering whether a minority shareholder can ever be considered a “controlling shareholder” who owes a fiduciary duty to other shareholders. The court’s opinion...more

Advertising Law - September 2015 #3

State AGs Settle Negative Option Marketing Case for $1M: Negative option marketing cost one company $1 million in a recent deal with the Attorneys General of New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. According to the...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 25, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Standing: plaintiff failed to meet the requirement of pre-suit ownership for standing where, although assignment contained a purported effective date before complaint was filed, it was...more

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

Phantom Injury Dooms “Shadow Insurance” Case

A recent federal district court decision dismissing a putative class action complaint against AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company may portend trouble for plaintiffs pursuing a number of similar so-called "shadow insurance"...more

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

Forum Shopping in the Ashley Madison MDL Proceedings

As anticipated in our previous discussion of the Ashley Madison data breach litigation, lawyers representing the various putative classes have begun sparring over their preferred venues. The Missouri Jane Doe – who filed the...more

Ruling Allows Gerber False Advertising Suit to Crawl Onward

For plaintiffs concerned that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 19, 2015 decision in Brown v. GNC Corp. signaled the muscling in of a stricter new pleading standard for false advertising class actions nationwide, a...more

Data Breach Class Claims Survive Clapper

On appeal to the Seventh Circuit, a three-judge panel opinion written by Chief Judge Woods reversed the lower court. Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, No. 14-3122, 2015 WL 4394814, at *3 (7th Cir. July 20, 2015). The panel...more

First Circuit Limits Defense Strategy of “Picking off” Named Plaintiff in Putative Class Action by Offer of Judgment

In Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley v. Act, Inc., 2015 U.S. App. (1st Cir. Aug. 21, 2015), the First Circuit held that a rejected and withdrawn offer of settlement of a named plaintiff’s individual claims in a putative class...more

TCPA Connect - September 2015

No Need to Wait for the U.S. Supreme Court—Seventh Circuit Rules on Mooting Offers in TCPA Suits - The latest court to weigh in on an offer of judgment in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act Suit: the Seventh Circuit...more

Guest Post - The Sweet Smell of Preemption Overcomes Plaintiffs’ Stinky Consumer Fraud Claims

The ingenuity of our friends in the plaintiffs’ bar is never-ending and always fascinating, like Cyrano de Bergerac’s prodigious proboscis. For example, this post is about a case brought by some resourceful lawyers who did ...more

State AGs File Amicus Brief With U.S. Supreme Court in FCRA Standing Case

On September 9, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced that her office, along with 12 other states and the District of Columbia, had filed with the U.S. Supreme Court an amicus brief supporting the plaintiff-respondent...more

Third Circuit Holds No Coverage For Suits Alleging Improper Collection of Customer Data

In its recent decision in OneBeacon Am. Ins. Co. v. Urban Outfitters, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16399 (3d Cir. Sept. 15, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, applying Pennsylvania law, had occasion to...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Against Title Insurer in Long-Running RESPA Litigation

On August 24, the Ninth Circuit held that a title insurer’s equity investments in title agencies in exchange for agreements that the agencies would refer customers to the insurer violated the anti-kickback provisions of the...more

District Court Finds that Texts Sent Via Mobile App Not Subject to TCPA Due to Users’ “Affirmative Choices” to Send Messages

On August 24, a California district court ruled in favor of a rewards-based app company, rejecting plaintiffs’ arguments that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Huricks v. Shopkick, Inc., No....more

First Circuit Holds an Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer Made Prior to Class Certification Won’t Moot Plaintiff’s Claims. Will Supreme...

The First Circuit recently joined the Second, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits in holding that a Rule 68 offer made prior to class certification and rejected by plaintiff does not moot the plaintiff’s claim. The...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Plaintiffs’ “Shadow Insurance” Class Action Claims

On July 21, 2015, a federal judge granted AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company’s motion to dismiss claims brought against it by insureds who alleged that AXA violated New York law by engaging in various “shadow insurance”...more

D&O Policies: A Possibility for TCPA Coverage?

Business is booming for plaintiffs’ attorneys wielding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA restricts unsolicited telemarketing by fax, voice calls and text messages. Violations can trigger liability of at...more

Too Little, Too Late: Eleventh Circuit Rejects Multiple Bites At The Apple For Class Claims

Defendants can add a new decision to their arsenal for defending against multiple proposed class actions on the same claims. The Eleventh Circuit recently issued a decision in Ewing Industries Corporation v. Bob Wines...more

“Food” Courts Confirm That Price Premium Is the Proper Measure of Damages in Misbranding Cases

The flurry of food mislabeling class actions filed in California federal courts has recently come to a halt under the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Comcast v. Beherend. Comcast requires that putative class action plaintiffs...more

California Federal Court Is Unpersuaded By A Recent Fourth Circuit False Advertising Decision In Reconsidering Its Ruling On A...

The Honorable John A. Kronstadt for United States Federal District for the Central District of California, denied a Defendant’s motion to reconsider his previous ruling on a motion to dismiss based upon a subsequent Fourth...more

BuckleySandler Secures Major Victory on Behalf of Mortgage Servicer in Putative Class Action Suit

On August 25, BuckleySandler secured a substantial victory in a putative class action in the Northern District of Illinois. McGann v. PNC, No. 11-c-6894 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 25, 2015). The suit alleged that a major mortgage...more

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