Rule 23(b)(3)

News & Analysis as of

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

Supreme Court Briefing Begins in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, A Potential Wage and Hour Blockbuster

In a case that could change how wage and hour class and collective actions are litigated, Tyson Foods, Inc. recently filed its opening Supreme Court brief. Tyson seeks reversal of a $5.8 million judgment in favor of meat...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

Rice Capades: Court Certifies a Class of Lead Lawyers Against Defendant Law Firms Who Allegedly Used the Class’s Work Product in...

The Eastern District of Missouri certified an unusual class of lawyers and their clients who undertook a collective effort to litigate claims against Bayer related to the purported “contamination” of the U.S. rice supply by...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

Third Circuit Clarifies Article III Standing for Absent Class Members, Impact of Comcast

In a case of first impression in the Third Circuit, the Court of Appeals held that unnamed, putative class members are not required to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Rather, the Court held that...more

Employment Law - July 2015

The Impact of National Same-Sex Marriage for Employers - Why it matters: How will employers feel the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges? The landmark ruling that the Fourteenth...more

Supreme Court Will Address Use Of Statistical Sampling and Whether A Class Can Be Certified If It Contains Members Who Are Not...

Last week, the United States Supreme Court granted cert in Bouaphakeo v. Tyson Foods, Inc., a Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) case with potentially wide reaching implications in federal class actions. In Bouaphakeo,...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Addressing Scope of Wage and Hour Class and Collective Actions

It’s hard enough to predict what the Supreme Court will do on a given case even after it has been briefed and oral argument has been heard. It’s even harder when all we have is the decision accepting certiorari, but this one...more

Stock-Not So-Well: Officers Denied Class Certification Of Age Discrimination Claims (Again)

As we reported here to our loyal blog readers, in April 2014, the Ninth Circuit overturned an order denying class certification of age discrimination claims filed by a group of police officers in Stockwell v. City & Cnty. of...more

Federal Court Denies Certification, Declines To Infer A Lack of Consent From A Lack Of Documentary Evidence Of Consent

The Middle District of Florida recently denied class certification because the plaintiff failed to prove that consent (or more to the point, an alleged lack of consent) could be established on a classwide basis. In doing so,...more

Avon Calling: Employees Allege Overtime Exemption Misclassification

Avon categorizes all of its district service managers (DSMs) under the “administrative” exception of California law that requires employers to pay overtime wages. DSMs are the Avon employees who recruit and train the...more

A Win for Employers: Court Denies Class Certification of Rest Break Claim Where Plaintiff Alleged Employer Did Not Have a Rest...

A recent federal district court decision denying a motion for class certification of wage-and-hour claims reflects continuing disagreement among courts in California regarding the suitability for class treatment of meal and...more

Running on Empty: Defective Gas Class Sputters in Louisiana District Court

The Middle District of Louisiana denied certification of a putative class bringing claims for redhibition and unjust enrichment against Exxon Mobil Corporation (“Exxon”). Plaintiffs allegedly purchased gasoline refined at...more

Oregon Federal Court Weighs In on Disputed Umbrella Theory of Damages

An Oregon federal court recently relied on the so-called umbrella theory of damages to decide that the plaintiffs had an antitrust injury necessary to pursue an injunction. While this decision has garnered attention for...more

Magistrate Recommends Denial of Class Certification in Goldman Sachs Gender Discrimination Suit

On March 10, 2015, a group of plaintiffs suing Goldman Sachs for gender discrimination suffered another setback in their attempt to certify a company-wide class in the case of Chen-Oster et al. v. Goldman, Sachs & Co., 10...more

2 Years After Comcast, Little Has Changed

The U.S. Supreme Court’s March 2013 decision in Comcast was heralded by many as a class certification “game-changer” that raised the bar for plaintiffs seeking class certification in competition and other class cases —...more

Second Circuit Vacates Class Certification Order, Applying Various State’s Laws Precludes Finding Of Predominance And Superiority

The Second Circuit vacated a class certification order issued by the Southern District of New York, finding that Rule 23(b)(3)’s predominance and superiority requirements could not be met given the necessity of applying 27...more

Second Circuit Holds Individualized Damages, Standing Alone, Do Not Preclude Class Certification

Two years ago, in Comcast v. Behrend et.al, the Supreme Court caught the attention of employers facing class action lawsuits by holding that plaintiffs cannot “show Rule 23(b)(3) predominance” when “[q]uestions of individual...more

Circuit Court Holds Comcast Does Not Foreclose Certification of Labor Law Class With Individualized Damages

In a class action brought under the Fair Labor Standard Act and New York Labor Law, the Second Circuit court of appeals reversed the district court’s denial of class certification and held that the Supreme Court’s 2013...more

Comcast, Superiority, Predominance and Injunctive Relief Addressed in Recent Second Circuit Class Certification Opinions

The Second Circuit recently addressed a panoply of class certification issues in two opinions. Both decisions ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but will help defendants tailor their arguments in future cases....more

Second Circuit: Class Certification is Alive and Well in Employment Cases Involving Individualized Damages

On February 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Roach v. T.L. Cannon Corporation, resolving the question of how the Supreme Court’s Comcast Corp. v. Behrend decision should be...more

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