According to the Daily Pilot and the California Chronicle, a California lawmaker has introduced a bill, AB 298, to allow defendants to file interlocutory appeals of class certification decisions. The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Van Tran, has authored a guest blog post on The California Civil Justice Blog explaining the objectives behind the bill, which include helping the state’s economic recovery by promoting a better climate for business.
It is unclear from the news articles or Tran’s blog post whether the bill would allow interlocutory appeal as of right or whether appeals would be discretionary, as they are under Rule 23(f), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Either way, the goal of creating an economic impact of any significance by simply allowing class action defendants to appeal class certification decisions seems somewhat overly optimistic, even assuming that the bill has any chance of passage. Previous class action reform bills introduced over the past few years have not fared well, according to the California Chronicle article.