Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Class Representatives

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes California Court for Failing to Enforce an Arbitration Agreement with a Class-Arbitration Waiver

On Monday, the Supreme Court held in DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia that a California appellate court erred by declining to enforce an arbitration agreement that prohibits arbitration on a class-wide basis. The decision is the latest in a steady line from the Supreme Court chastising lower courts for failing to give effect to arbitration agreements. […]

Preview of Significant Class Action Cases Pending in the U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court began its new Term on October 5, and already the Court is slated to hear several cases that could have major impacts on class-action litigation. Among the issues facing the Court are: ▪ whether a defendant can render a putative class action moot by offering the named plaintiff all the relief the […]

Court Certifies State Wage and Hour Claims Alongside FLSA Collective Claims

We have reported recently in this space on the certification of state wage and hour claims. Judge Gergel recently continued with this trend, certifying a class of Jamaican workers at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort who contend they weren’t paid enough by the Resort. See Moodie v. Kiawah Island Inn Co., LLC, No. 2:15-cv-1097 (D.S.C. […]

Fourth Circuit Upholds District Court’s Decision Not to Provide Pre-Certification Notice to Putative Class Members

In an “opt out” class action, sending notice to class members following class certification is not only routine, but required by due process. But does a district court have the right to order notice prior to a decision on class certification? In Gardener v. GMAC, Inc., No. 14-208 (4th Cir. Aug. 6, 2015), both the […]

Judge Cogburn Certifies Class Alleging that Distributors Are “Employees”

We all know that an employer’s decision to label certain individuals as “independent contractors” is not dispositive of the legal issue whether they are, in actuality, “employees.” And that issue is complicated further because the definition of “employee” varies from statute to statute. But courts have struggled in deciding whether employment status in a misclassification […]

A New Twist on “Issue Certification” from the District of South Carolina

As we discussed last year, a bona fide circuit split exists with respect to “issue certification.” We observed that the Fourth Circuit’s guidance on this issue is foggy: As Judge Dever has noted, “although the Fourth Circuit appears to address this issue in Gunnells v. Healthplan Services, Inc., 348 F.3d 417 (4th Cir. 2003), its […]

Business Court Rules that Class Counsel’s Fee Agreements Are Not Automatically Discoverable

In order to meet the requirements of due process, a class representative must be “adequate” and able to represent the class of individuals that may be bound by the judgment rendered in a class action. And class counsel, in turn, must not suffer from conflicts and must demonstrate that he or she is capable of […]

Decertification of Class Claims Alleging Breach of Warranty Fails in South Carolina

The aphorism “If at first you don’t succeed . . .” has special significance in class litigation.  Rule 23(c)(1)(C) expressly provides that an order granting or denying class certification “may be altered or amended before final judgment,” and the Fourth Circuit has made it clear that the district court must decertify a class if “it […]

Can One ‘Representative’ Plaintiff Be A Class under CAFA? Supreme Court Says “No”

In Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp., 134 S. Ct. 736 (Jan. 14, 2014), the United States Supreme Court held that one plaintiff does not a “mass action” make under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). CAFA defines a “mass action” as a claim brought by more than 100 people, and the Court […]