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Inside The Courts - September 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 3

In This Issue: - CLASS CERTIFICATION: ..Goodman v. Genworth Fin. Wealth Mgmt. Inc., No. 09-CV-5603, 2014 WL 1452048 (JFB) (GRB) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 15, 2014) - DEMAND FUTILITY: ..Rosenbloom v. Pyott,...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

Third Circuit Ascertainability Rulings Continue to Imperil Low-End Consumer Class Actions

It’s a pattern repeated in millions of households every day: you go to the grocery or the drug store, buy the items you need, and don’t bother to keep the receipt. You may throw the receipt away immediately, you may throw...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 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

Rebuking “Trial by Formula,” Federal Court Decertifies Rule 23(b)(3) Class Action

In Stiller v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 3:09-cv-2473-GPC-BGS, Plaintiffs Eric Stiller and Joseph Moro alleged that Costco’s loss-prevention closing procedures effectively “forced” employees to work off-the clock without...more

Ninth Circuit Holds On 23(f) Appeal That District Court Abused Its Discretion By Weighing The Merits In Denying Certification

After granting the plaintiffs’ Rule 23(f) petition, the Ninth Circuit reversed a denial of class certification, finding that the district court had improperly weighed the merits of the plaintiffs’ Rule 23(a)(2) commonality...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

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

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

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2014

This month we look at part three of our three part series on Class Actions. In part three, Robert Rachal and M. Todd Mobley address the role of experts in class certification post Wal-Mart and Comcast and how to use and...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

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter; November 2013

In This Issue: - Labor and Employment and ERISA Class Actions After Wal-Mart and Comcast — Practice Points for Defendants (Part I – Commonality)* - Agencies Release Guidance on HRAs, FSAs, and Employer Payment...more

Cullen v. State Farm - The Ohio Supreme Court Returns to Rule 23 Issues

On November 5, 2013, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted the class certification principles announced in the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes and Comcast v. Behrend. In Cullen v. State Farm...more

Ohio Supreme Court Adopts Comcast and Wal-Mart Standards For Class Certification; Reverses Class Certification Due To...

Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court denied class certification in Cullen v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-4733 (Nov. 5 , 2013). In a 5-2 decision, the Court overruled the trial and...more

BakerHostetler Wins A Second Major Victory In The Ohio Supreme Court For Class Action Defendants

On November 5, 2013, BakerHostetler's class action litigation team secured a major victory for Ohio class action defendants when the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted the class certification principles announced in the United...more

The Ebb and Flow of Comcast v. Behrend

The United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Comcast v. Behrend, 133 U.S. 1426 (2013) has been the subject of much debate and analysis. The defense bar has heralded the opinion as further tightening the reins on class...more

Wal-Mart Prevails in Credit Card Class Battle Over Practice of Collecting Addresses and Phone Numbers

In a victory for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a federal district court judge has refused to certify a Rule 23(b)(3) class in a lawsuit for violation of California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1747 et...more

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