UPI contributor Michael Kirkland published a recent article entitled Is Class Action on Its Last Shaky Legs, in which he quotes several legal experts as predicting that the Supreme Court’s recent rulings in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion could spell the end of the class action lawsuit. But, near the end of the article, Kirkland quotes Columbia law and business school student Allessandro Presti, who says that those predicting the death of class actions “may be jumping the gun.” Presti has a good article about potential practical limitations to the reach of Concepcion at the Columbia Business Law Review online, which is entitled AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion: End of Class Action Litigation as We Know It? Or Much Ado about Nothing?
As anyone who reads this blog regularly is already aware, I’m with Presti. Class actions are like the killer in a 1980s horror flick. Just when you think you’ve done them in for good, they come back for another sequel. Anyone who thinks that the U.S. Supreme Court is out to abolish class actions should read the decisions in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co. and Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton Corporation. No doubt there are factions of the Court who could not be considered champions of the little guy, but to say that class actions are nearly extinct goes a bit too far.