Robinson Bradshaw

Jurisdiction: Fourth Circuit

In ERISA Class Actions, Defendants Should Take a Close Look At Whether Article III Standing Issues Could Lead to Early Adjudication

As class action litigation under ERISA continues its upward trend across the country, could Article III standing serve as a means through which a Court can fairly assess claims before costly discovery is imposed on defendants and judicial resources are expended? Several recent federal court decisions suggest as much. ERISA, which provides protection to employees […]

What should be required to show that a party waived its right to arbitrate?

This post concerns a recurring topic in class-action practice: how a party—through its own litigation conduct—can waive its right to arbitrate. The topic warrants attention, or at least came to our attention, because of a recent decision from a federal appellate court. The case, called Morgan v. Sundance, Inc., is a putative nationwide collective action […]

Defendant Class Actions: A Unicorn Survival Guide

The Fourth Circuit’s opinion in Bell v. Brockett, No. 18-1149 (4th Cir. Apr. 25, 2019), posits that “[d]efendant class actions are so rare they have been compared to unicorns.” But what may be even rarer is an opinion, like Bell, in which a court opines on the fundamental and concerning nature of the district court’s […]

Collective Action and Class Action Settlements Require Careful Consideration

We often report in our monthly digests on cases asserting claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws. These cases generally involve claims that a company, often a restaurant or delivery service company, failed to pay overtime, used an improper “tip pool,” or treated workers as independent contractors, […]

Fourth Circuit Provides Guidance Concerning Proof of the Amount in Controversy under CAFA

We don’t often get appellate guidance after a federal trial judge remands a case to state court following removal because 28 U.S.C. Sect. 1447(d) generally makes such a ruling unreviewable. But the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. Sect. 1332(d), permits a court of appeals to accept an appeal of a remand from a class […]

Fourth Circuit Uses Spokeo to Spike $11.7 Million Class Action Judgment

Standing to sue, a venerable piece of American jurisprudence for sure, continues to draw attention in recent class action cases, including in the Fourth Circuit. In its second decision this year evaluating last term’s Supreme Court decision, Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), a unanimous panel of the Fourth Circuit found insufficient “an […]

Securities Class Actions Continue To Rise

Earlier this year, we reported that Multiple Studies Show Increase in Securities Class Actions. Cornerstone Research, one of the groups covered in our earlier report, recently issued its 2016 Midyear Assessment. This new analysis, which covers cases filed in January through June of this year, is consistent with several of the trends we reported previously, […]

Multiple Studies Show Increase in Securities Class Actions

Recent studies by PricewaterhouseCoopers, NERA Economic Consulting, Cornerstone, and Kevin LaCroix of D&O Diary have all found that federal securities class actions are on the rise. According to PwC, the data shows a trend towards more cases filed against smaller companies, especially for claims regarding accounting irregularities. Smaller companies also face a significant risk of […]

Fourth Circuit Holds that Court, Not Arbitrators, Decides Whether Arbitration Agreement Provides for Class Arbitration

Characterizing an unpublished 2007 decision to the contrary as a “thin reed” displaced by later Supreme Court guidance, the Fourth Circuit held that the question of whether an arbitration agreement permits class proceedings is a “gateway” issue for the court, and not a procedural question left to the arbitrator to decide. Del Webb Communities, Inc. […]

Fourth Circuit Upholds (B)(2) Settlement Covering 200 Million People

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart, courts have been struggling to breathe life into Rule 23(b)(2) when monetary damages are a possibility. Wal-Mart held that back pay constituted the kind of individualized monetary relief that was hardly “incidental” to claims of injunctive relief, upon which (b)(2) classes are essentially founded. In Berry v. LexisNexis […]