The Dangers of Watering Down Class-Certification Standards in Fraud Cases
Class actions have long been difficult to certify in fraud cases. But a recent district court decision in California takes a new approach that would make class certification in fraud cases the norm. That decision is now on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, where Robinson Bradshaw filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Chamber […]
Deep Dive into Dueling Experts Leads to Denial of Class Certification in Multidistrict Litigation
A leading feature of the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes is the “rigorous scrutiny” the trial court must apply to determine whether the evidence plaintiffs offer to support class certification meets the requirements of Rule 23. Following the Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart and Comcast, “[i]t is now indisputably the role […]
Does Tyson’s “No Reasonable Juror” Standard Relieve Courts of the Obligation Rigorously To Analyze Expert Statistical Models at Class Certification?
In order to have a class certified, the plaintiffs have the burden of proving to the satisfaction of the court, “after a rigorous analysis,” that they comply with Rule 23—that is, that “there are in fact sufficiently numerous parties, common questions of law or fact, etc.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 350-51 […]
How Many Uninjured Class Members is Too Many for Certification? The Waters Remain Murky.
The extent to which the presence of uninjured class members may defeat class certification remains unsettled. While, standing alone, the existence of some uninjured class members may not be not fatal (depending on the circuit), just how many is too many to satisfy the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3) is still in flux. The Ninth […]
Sixth Circuit Weighs In On Issue Certification
We’ve commented before in this space about the ongoing debate concerning the relationship between the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3) and “issue certification” under Rule 23(c)(4). Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit weighed in on the subject. See Martin v. Behr Dayton Thermal Prods., No. 17-3663 (6th Cir. July 16, 2018). The case related to a “Superfund […]
Is a Class Representative Adequate if He Waives Viable Claims in Order to Preserve Commonality?
Class actions don’t work if the class representative has a conflict with the class he or she purportedly represents. As the United States Supreme Court noted over 70 years ago, “a selection of representatives for purposes of litigation, whose substantial interests are not necessarily or even probably the same as those whom they are deemed […]
How Will Justice Gorsuch Rule in Class Actions? A Look at Shook and Judicial Restraint
The nomination of Tenth Circuit Judge Neil M. Gorsuch for the Supreme Court has jurists and reporters forecasting how, if confirmed, he will rule in cases raising “hot” Constitutional issues. The “hot” question for those of us who litigate class actions is how Justice Gorsuch would engage the next landmark class action, especially since he […]
Congress Considering Major Class Action Reform Legislation
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, recently introduced a bill that would make significant changes to federal class action litigation. The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017 (H.R. 985) states that it is intended to allow prompt recoveries to plaintiffs with legitimate claims and “diminish abuses in class action […]
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 […]
Class Certified on Failure To Notify Employees of Impending Hospital Closure
Failure to give the requisite 60-days’ notice to a group of employees under the WARN Act seems like it implicates a quintessential common question for adjudication under Rule 23. But in Hutson v. CAH Acquisition Company 10, LLC, 1:15CV742 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 15, 2016), Defendant gamely tried to suggest that there were factual issues that must […]