Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Jurisdictional Issues

When a Rule 23(f) Appeal Becomes Something More: Fourth Circuit Exercises Pendent Appellate Jurisdiction Over Ruling on the Merits

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) gives the court of appeals discretion to review a narrow class of interlocutory orders: those granting or denying class certification. But it is sometimes possible for other orders to come along for the ride, as demonstrated by the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision in Elegant Massage LLC v. State Farm […]

Removal Under Only CAFA Can Land You Back in State Court if the Class is Not Certified

When a class action is filed in state court, most defendants first evaluate whether the case can be removed to federal court. The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) offers a broader avenue to remove cases to federal court than traditional diversity jurisdiction. Removal under CAFA is permissible if (1) the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 […]

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 […]

On Class-Action Remedies, Begin with the End in Mind

Think about the last class-action notice that you received. You might have thought, “This is sweet. I didn’t know anything was wrong with my dog food, but I can get $50 if I just fill out this form.” There is a reason that we receive these mailings without having made a claim or knowing that […]

Tenth Circuit Prohibits Class-Action Waivers in Benefit Plan Documents

It is no secret that many businesses minimize risk by requiring arbitration of disputes on an individual basis. The exposure created by a single claim pales next to that presented by a class claim, asserted under Rule 23, on behalf of numerous individuals. To implement this mitigation strategy, businesses typically include in their agreements an […]

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 […]

Enforcing Other Courts’ Orders—A Class Action Remedy for Violations of Bankruptcy Discharge?

Bankruptcy, like the class action, is a form of collective adjudication. It is usually regarded as an alternative to the class action, in which the rights of creditors (often in the hundreds, thousands, or even millions) against one or more debtors can be determined through special procedures that need not meet the requirements for class […]

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. […]

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 […]

Placeholder Class Cert Motions No Longer Needed

We have commented before in this space about using offers of judgment to “pick off” the named plaintiff in a class action case, a tactic the Supreme Court addressed in Campbell-Ewald v. Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016). There, the Supreme Court held that an unaccepted offer of judgment does not moot the case, at least […]