Robinson Bradshaw

Topic: Manageability

Kelly v. RealPage Inc.: The Third Circuit Lowers the “Heightened Standard” for Ascertainability

Rule 23 does not explicitly require that a court be able to determine who the members are before certifying a class. But judges have found implicit in the Rule a requirement that membership in a defined class be “ascertainable” or “definite.” For example, a court cannot address the numerosity requirement or provide effective relief to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Issues Order Discussing Communications to Class Members During Pendency of Class Proceedings

We previously reported on Judge Cogburn’s decision to certify a class in an employee misclassification case, Rehberg v. Flowers Baking Co of Jamestown, LLC, No. 3:12-cv-596 (W.D.N.C. March 23, 2015). In May, the Fourth Circuit denied Defendants’ Rule 23(f) appeal, and so the case is proceeding in the district court. The class members have distributorship agreements […]

Business Court Approves Non-Opt-Out Class Settlement in Merger Case

The North Carolina Business Court has seemed to settle upon a methodology in approving “disclosure only” settlements in merger cases. Following Judge Gale’s decision in In re Harris Teeter Merger Litigation, Judge Bledsoe certified a non-opt-out settlement class last week in In re PokerTek Merger Litigation, No. 14-CVS-105679 (Jan. 22, 2015), observing that such classes […]

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 […]

Individual Issues Doom ASU Students’ Class Action

In a decision handed down today, a panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s denial of class certification in a case brought by college students at Appalachian State University to recover rental security deposits. The Court of Appeals held that “[d]etermination of the appropriate amount of each Plaintiff’s refund would […]