Robinson Bradshaw

Jurisdiction: North Carolina State Courts

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 […]

Does GS § 7A-27 Require Immediate Appeal of all Class Certification Orders?

It appears that the answer may be yes. In 2017, the General Assembly amended G.S. § 7A-27 to permit defendants to take interlocutory appeals from orders granting class certification. Prior to the amendment, plaintiffs could pursue interlocutory appeals from orders denying class certification, but defendants had no reciprocal right of appeal. As amended, section 7A-27(a) […]

5 of 7 NC Justices’ Family Members are in the Class: Will they hear the appeal?

There are 7 justices on the North Carolina Supreme Court, and 4 are required to constitute a quorum. But what if 5 of the 7 justices have a family history of public service that could prevent them from hearing an appeal? In Lake v. State Health Plan for Teachers & State Employees, 852 S.E.2d 888 […]

NC Class Certification Appeals Bill Becomes Law

House Bill 239, which reduces the number of judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and provides for direct appeals of decisions regarding class action certification to the North Carolina Supreme Court, is now law. On April 26, the General Assembly voted to override Governor Cooper’s veto, and the bill has been enacted as […]

Pending Bill Would Permit Interlocutory Appeals of Class Certification Decisions Directly to NC Supreme Court

Governor Cooper vetoed House Bill 239 on April 21, rejecting the General Assembly’s effort to reduce the number of judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 15 to 12. The bill has been quite controversial, and four former North Carolina Supreme Court justices have said it would “seriously harm our judicial system.”  Although the […]

Can a Class Action Proceed when the Named Plaintiff’s Claim Becomes Moot? A Recent View from the North Carolina Business Court

In this post we talk about two of our favorite things (relatively speaking): class actions and mootness.  We last looked at these issues when covering the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016).  There, the Court rejected the defendant’s attempt to “pick off” the named plaintiff in a […]

NC Supreme Court Affirms Certification of 800,000 Member Class (Fisher Part 2)

As we explained in Part 1 of our analysis of Fisher v. Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation, the North Carolina Supreme Court recently exercised jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal and affirmed the certification of a class of hundreds of thousands of current and former tobacco farmers. In the first part, we discussed the Court’s jurisdictional […]

NC Supreme Court Takes Jurisdiction over Order Granting Certification (Fisher Part 1)

In its last batch of opinions for 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the certification of a class of more than 800,000 tobacco farmers in Fisher v. Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corporation. Because Fisher raises a number of interesting class certification issues, and because the North Carolina Supreme Court rarely issues opinions addressing North […]

Merger Litigation Continues in North Carolina

Last month, we previewed the challenge to a settlement of litigation involving the Reynolds-Lorillard merger. The Business Court has helpfully made available the transcript of the hearing on approval of the settlement, which took place on February 12. At the hearing, the Court made clear that it was quite familiar with recent changes in merger […]