Rule 23

News & Analysis as of

Human v. Mouse

What conceivable correlation exists between class actions and pests? No, it’s not that. At least not for Jeanne Steigerwald. Hers was a story that started, she claimed, when she noticed “mice droppings in her...more

Court Dismisses Derivative Claim for Alleged Breach of Oversight Duty

The Delaware courts encourage plaintiffs who bring derivative claims in Delaware without making demand on the board of directors to seek books and records under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law so as to be...more

Ninth Circuit Puts the Brakes on Chrysler Class Action

On October 24, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s certification of a class against Chrysler Group (“Chrysler”) under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act. Because the plaintiff could...more

Class Action Report - October 2016

As the Supreme Court begins its new term, the trajectory of its recent class certification guidance will be a key issue for many. The spring and summer of 2016 delivered significant new contours in class certification...more

Third Circuit Establishes Test For Numerosity Under Rule 23(a)(1)

While Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1), the “numerosity” requirement, is not a frequently challenged issue in many class actions, its importance cannot be ignored. Rule 23(a)(1) mandates that in order to certify a class action, the...more

Five Takeaways from the Duke Conference on Class Action Settlements

A few weeks ago, the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies held a conference on class action settlements in San Diego, to discuss best practices in the wake of the likely Rule 23 amendments. Like all of its conferences, this...more

Illinois District Court Denies Motion to Certify TCPA Class Action

In the consolidated cases Espejo v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., No. 11 C 8987, 2016 WL 6037625 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 14, 2016) and Levins v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., No. 12 C 9431, 2016 WL 6037 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 14, 2016), the...more

In a Groundbreaking Decision, Third Circuit Provides Framework for Evaluating Numerosity

One of the least disputed elements of class certification is Rule 23(a)(1) numerosity, and so there is relatively little analysis from the courts about it. Last month, however, a divided panel of the Third Circuit provided a...more

District Court Adopts “Weak” Test of Ascertainability, Certifies Class of Corn Producers in Suit Against Syngenta over...

A District Court in Kansas added to an increasing debate in the federal courts over class ascertainability when it certified a class of 440,000 U.S. corn producers in a suit against Swiss global agribusiness Syngenta AG...more

Federal Rules Advisory Committee Proposes Amendments to Rule Governing Class Actions in Federal Court

Since 2011, a Subcommittee of the Federal Rules Advisory Committee has been mulling changes to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. On April 14, 2016, the Advisory Committee forwarded proposed changes to the...more

Nothing Shady Where State Statutory Language Restricting Class Actions is Clear

Six years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court stated in a plurality opinion that “Rule 23 unambiguously authorizes any plaintiff, in any federal proceeding, to maintain a class action if the Rule’s requirements are met” — even if the...more

UnitedHealth Plan Holders Win Class Certification in ERISA Lawsuit

The District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted certain members of UnitedHealth health plans class certification in their suit alleging improper denial of benefits. Plaintiffs in the putative...more

Week in Review: How Excluding the Plaintiff’s Expert Can Position You Perfectly to Defend a Rule 23(f) Appeal and More

This week we take a look at how a trial court’s evidentiary rulings can foreclose pathways to appealing a ruling on certification down the line, as well as a Hail Mary appeal by a group of Super Bowl ticketholders that fell...more

Third Circuit says sunk discovery costs not a proper factor in class certification analysis

It is not every day that antitrust plaintiff classes fail to win certification due to lack of numerosity under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(1). Yet this week, absence of numerosity was the reason a Third Circuit...more

Third Circuit Decertifies Class on Numerosity Grounds, Listing Relevant Factors for the First Time

The Modafinil decision bodes well for defendants and represents another step toward increased scrutiny of the class action device in the Third Circuit. On September 13, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

Third Circuit Sets Framework for Numerosity Requirement

Yesterday, in In re Modafinil Antitrust Litig., 3d Cir. No. 15-3475 the Third Circuit provided a framework for analyzing the oft-overlooked numerosity requirement of Rule 23(a)(1).. The court’s decision both clarified and...more

Class Action Settlements at the Heart of Proposed Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23

Federal class action jurisprudence has been evolving rapidly over the course of the last 5-6 years, with several major U.S. Supreme Court decisions defining and redefining many aspects of class litigation. With the first...more

The New Rule 23 Is Available for Public Comment

In August, while we were all on vacation, beating the heat, or recovering from a busy first half of 2016, the Advisory Committee published the new proposed Rule 23 for public comment. The proposed changes here fall into...more

No Repose for Debate on Applicability of American Pipe Tolling

In its seminal 1974 American Pipe opinion, the Supreme Court held that the commencement of a class action tolls the applicable statutes of limitation as to all putative class members who would have been parties had the class...more

Should MDL Judges Act More Like Class Action Judges?

Class actions are not the only form of aggregate litigation. Multi-district litigation (“MDL”), the process by which large numbers of smaller lawsuits are consolidated before a single judge for pretrial purposes, without...more

Week in Review: Appellate Court Upholds Damages-Based Challenge to Predominance and More

This week’s recap examines a recent appellate ruling that provides a nice roadmap for arguing a plaintiff’s theory of damages cannot satisfy Rule 23’s predominance requirement, as well as another district court’s efforts to...more

Week in Review: Proposed Rule Changes and Another Data-Breach Decision

Today’s round-up takes a look at the potential impact on class-action litigation of some recently proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and continues our exploration of what type of injury it takes to...more

The Issues with Issue Certification

Rule 23(c)(4) has been been placed under a microscope in the past few years, largely because of the judicial response to the Supreme Court’s Comcast Corp. v. Behrend opinion, and the Rules Advisory Committee’s subsequent...more

“Placeholder” Motions to Certify are Unnecessary after Campbell-Ewald According to South Carolina District Court

Relying on the Supreme Court’s 2016 opinion in Campbell-Ewald, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina ruled that a class action plaintiff need not file a “placeholder” motion to certify to avoid a...more

Court Of Chancery Explains When Caremark Claim Exists Based On Illegal Conduct

This decision explains when a Caremark claim exists based on illegal corporate conduct. The “substantial likelihood” of liability that justifies excusing a pre-suit demand on the board must involve a knowing violation of the...more

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