Rule 23

News & Analysis as of

Second Circuit Finds Highly Individualized Damages Inquiry Won’t Spoil Rule 23 Class Wage Claims

Roach v. T.L. Cannon Corp., No. 13-3070-cv (2d Cir. Feb. 10, 2015): The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently vacated and remanded the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York’s decision denying class...more

Food for Thought: 2014 Litigation Annual Review

Food for Thought reports on significant court decisions affecting the food industry. The focus of this edition is on several food-related cases pertaining to class certification; particularly, on district court decisions...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Former Counsel

In a few weeks’ time over at Appellate Strategist’s sister blog, the Illinois Supreme Court Review, we’ll address the question of just how rare it is to get an unpublished decision – what we in Illinois call a Rule 23 order –...more

Rule 23 Study Agenda – Merits Inquiry

The Advisory Committee has signaled that the merits inquiry is a “back burner” issue for the next Rule 23 amendments. Perhaps they should nudge it towards the front....more

Rule 23 Study Agenda – FRCP 68 and Mootness

Courts look down on offers of judgment in class actions as a procedural trick. Used properly, however, they are an effective early screen for cases that can’t be certified. ...more

Insurance Balance Billing Class Fails Rule 23’s Requirements

Plaintiff filed a putative class action in Arkansas state court against his automobile insurer for alleged failure to pay the full amount it was contractually required to pay for his medical bills following a car accident. ...more

Rule 23 Study Agenda – Notice Issues

Provisions to make notice of class certification cheaper and more effective are welcome, but they should also focus on making it more accessible once it arrives....more

Third Circuit: Strict Ascertainability Optional for Rule 23(B)(2) Class

Although not explicitly set forth in Rule 23, an essential prerequisite of any action under Rule 23 is that there must be an identifiable “class” at the moment of certification. The shorthand term commonly used to refer to...more

Rule 23 Study Agenda – Objectors

Oft-maligned objectors serve a valuable function in class actions. Rather than trying to rein them in; the Advisory Committee should work on reducing the need for them....more

The Rules Advisory Committee Study Agenda – Cy Pres

In the last five years, the use of cy pres relief in settlements has become particularly controversial. Various appellate courts have expressed suspicion about the use of cy pres in questionable settlements. Even Justice...more

Class Certification Denied in Chemical Leak Lawsuit

An Arkansas federal judge recently denied a motion to certify a proposed class of property owners alleging that Whirlpool’s failure to clean up toxic chemicals at its facility diminished the value of their surrounding...more

District Court Decertifies Class Where Damages Model Did Not Satisfy Supreme Court’s Requirements as Set Forth in Comcast Corp. v....

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted a defendant’s motion to decertify a class because plaintiff’s damages model was not consistent with his theory of liability as required...more

The Ten Most Significant Class Action Cases of 2014

Year-end lists are funny things. They take a sort-of arbitrary starting and stopping point, and then they cram a bunch of prejudices into a (usually) arbitrary number of items. And then people take them kind of seriously....more

The Rules Advisory Committee Study Agenda – Rule 23(e)

Amending Rule 23 would add clarity to the settlement process and teeth to the protection of absent class members. But to solve the real class settlement process, the Advisory Committee will have to look at why so many weak...more

What Will Be in the Coming Class Action Amendments?

I’ve written a little so far about the fact that Rule 23 is likely to undergo revision in the next few years. Last week Judge Robert Michael Dow, who is a member of the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure’s...more

To Be Or Not To Be: Mooting Rule 23 Class Actions Through Rule 68 Offers of Judgment

The use of Rule 68 offers of judgment to moot the claims of plaintiffs in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action context has received much attention recently as the courts consider defendants’ use of this...more

November 2014: Class Action Litigation Update

Class Action Defense Menu: Statutes of Limitations Served Two Ways. The statute of limitations is an underutilized but potentially potent defense in many consumer class actions. The defense can be raised two ways. First, as...more

Second Circuit Affirms District Court’s Denial of Certification of Class of Investors Alleging Common Law Fraud Under New York Law

The Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of class certification of a class of investors based on the appellants’ failure to satisfy the numerosity and commonality requirements of Rule 23(a). Following the...more

Pennsylvania District Court Denies Terminated Insurance Agents’ Bid for Certification

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied plaintiffs’ motion to certify certain issues under Rule 23(c)(4) and 23(b)(2), holding that the presence of numerous individualized questions, choice-of-law concerns, and other...more

District Judge Allows Rail Union to Side Step Rule 23 with Pattern-Or-Practice Claim

A federal district judge in Hammond, Indiana, has permitted a rail union to pursue injunctive remedies in a Title VII pattern-or-practice discrimination claim on behalf of its black members without compliance with Rule 23. In...more

MBS Investor Class Partially Certified Against J.P. Morgan

On September 30, Judge Paul Oetken of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York partially certified a class of MBS investors under Rule 23(b) in Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund v. J.P. Morgan Chase &...more

What Is the Standard for Class Certification?

The answer is nowhere near as simple as you might think. Everyone knows that a court is supposed to conduct a “rigorous analysis,” but what that means in practice is not quite as clear....more

Communicating With Putative Class Members in Complex Employment Litigation

In the early stages of an employment class or collective action, employers and their counsel often are eager to contact putative class members. For example, defense counsel may wish to interview putative class members in...more

Will the Supreme Court Take a Stand on Standing in BP Case?

It is axiomatic that to certify a class, plaintiffs must show all members satisfy Article III standing and Rule 23 requirements. While federal courts "do not require each member of a class to submit evidence of personal...more

State Courts Disagree About Whether Statutory Damages Make Class Actions an Inferior Method for Adjudicating TCPA Claims

The statutory damages that have caused so many plaintiffs to file TCPA class actions have also caused some courts to find that class actions are not the superior method for adjudicating them. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure...more

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