Robinson Bradshaw

Jurisdiction: United States Supreme Court

The Now-Traditional Argument About Non-Traditional Harms—No Answer In Sight

Our colleague Erik Zimmerman reported in an earlier post the memorable declaration from defense counsel in TransUnion, LLC v. Ramirez, 594 U.S. 413 (2021): when a legal violation results in no harm, those involved should “break out the champagne,” not “break out a lawsuit.” In TransUnion, decided in 2021, the Supreme Court grappled with a […]

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 […]

When can class members recover for non-traditional harms?

At oral argument in TransUnion, LLC v. Ramirez, TransUnion’s counsel told the U.S. Supreme Court that a lack of harm is a reason “to break out the champagne, not to break out a lawsuit.” The Court has now decided TransUnion, and its decision may make it harder for class-action plaintiffs to sue for non-traditional harms. […]

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 […]

Specific Personal Jurisdiction in Federal Class Actions: The Wait Continues

Last month, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in a case that would determine whether the Court’s 2017 decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California would extend to federal class actions. In Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Supreme Court ruled that in mass tort actions, state courts do not have specific personal jurisdiction over claims […]

Supreme Court Requires Unambiguous Consent to Class Arbitration

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court held in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, No. 17-988 (April 24, 2019) that an ambiguous agreement cannot authorize class arbitration. The 5-4 decision split along ideological lines, with Chief Justice Roberts writing for the Court’s conservative majority. Per Roberts’ opinion, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires both parties to an […]

Supreme Court, over Thomas Dissent, Dodges Cy Pres Mechanism in Class Settlement

Last year in this space, we reported on the continuing debate concerning the use of cy pres awards in class action settlements.  Since 2013, Chief Justice Roberts has provided cautionary comments about this practice.  See Marek v. Lane, 134 S. Ct. 8 (2013).  We also reported on the Ninth Circuit’s approval of a cy pres […]

No Laughing Matter – Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f)’s Deadline for Filing Petitions for Permission to Appeal Certification Orders Cannot Be Equitably Tolled

After a lively oral argument interrupted eight times by laughter, a unanimous Supreme Court reached a serious holding in Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, No. 17-1094 (Feb. 26, 2019): that Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f)’s 14-day period for requesting permission to appeal class certification orders cannot be equitably tolled. The class-action plaintiff in Lambert sued for […]

China Agritech and Tolling in CAFA Cases

Updated 6-11-18: The Supreme Court’s decision earlier today in China Agritech confirms the validity of the observations in the original blog post below.  The Court held that American Pipe tolling does not apply to successive class actions. In American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), and Crown Cork & Seal v. […]

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Agreements Barring Employment Class Actions

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, held that an employer and its employees may agree to arbitrate claims on an individual, not a class-wide basis. Epic Systems Corp. v Lewis, No. 16-285 (U.S. May 21, 2018). Writing for the majority, Justice Gorsuch rejects the National Labor Relations Board’s view – in […]