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Posts Tagged ‘blawg review’

A bout of the stomach flu delayed this week’s CABWR, but better late than never.  Here are some blog entries from the week that was (plus a few days) that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action-Related Post of the Week

This entry from Wage Law about a conversation overheard between two judges in a coffee shop discussing a “sweetheart deal” that had been proposed in a class action pending before one of them says volumes both about the need for discretion by judges and lawyers alike in discussing their cases in public places and also the need for class action lawyers on both sides to do their homework before submitting a proposed settlement for court approval:

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/09/hearsay.html

Class Action Decisions

The Indiana Blog, How Appealing, and Corporate Legal Times, are among the many legal blogs that commented on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision disallowing a class action claim for rescission of a mortgage under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (See CAB entry here):

http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2008/09/ind_decisions_m_286.html

http://howappealing.law.com/093008.html#030528

http://www.cltmag.com/mortgage-lenders-fight-off-rescission-class-action-in-7th-circuit.html

The Complex Litigator and The UCL Practitioner review a California Court of Appeal decision addressing what constitutes an impermissible merits determination in ruling on a motion for class certification:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/09/hewlett-packard.html

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/10/new-class-certi.html

Class Action Defense Blog provides a synopsis of a California Court of Appeal reversing a denial of class certification on the ground that a lower court’s orders precluding certain discovery, including discovery of contact information for other putative class members, prevented the plaintiffs from meeting their burden of demonstrating commonality and typicality:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/09/class_action_defense_caseslee_1.html

Classified provides summaries of several recent decisions by federal district courts in Florida on a variety of class action-related issues including proof of amount in controversy for CAFA removal, the res judicata effect of a summary judgment order in a prior class action, and reliance as an element of a claim under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/ (see entries dated September 28)

Business Spectator reports on the dismissal of a class action filed by Iraqi citizens in a New York federal court against an Australian company for its alleged acts of bribery and other unlawful conduct in connection with a UN food-for-oil program:

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Third-class-action-against-AWB-in-US-dismissed-JZAV9?opendocument&src=rss

EDTexWeblog.com provides a summary of a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dismissing a class action brought under the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act (DPPA):

http://mcsmith.blogs.com/eastern_district_of_texas/2008/09/drivers-privacy-protection-act-dppa-class-action-dismissed.html

planadvisor discusses an Illinois federal court’s order granting class certification in an ERISA class action involving allegations of excessive fees and other breaches of fiduciary duty in administering a 401(k) plan:

http://www.planadviser.com/article.php/2933

Green Buckeye RN discusses a West Virginia federal court’s decision not to certify a class in a mass tort case filed on behalf of a would-be class of residents of a city whose water was allegedly contaminated by the defendant’s pollution:

http://greenbuckeyern.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/the-charleston-gazette-judge-rejects-c8-class-action-case-against-dupont/

Overlawyered reports on the dismissal of a New York lawsuit brought on behalf of a would-have-been class of men seeking to hold “Ladies Night” discounts unconstitutional:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/09/ladies-nights-a-win-for-nyc-clubs/

Class Action Scandals

Dallas Blog reports on the guilty plea of the last defendant to face charges in connection with the Milberg Weiss kickback scandal:

http://www.dallasblog.com/200809301003674/john-browning-s-legally-speaking/a-class-action-act.html

 Class Action Settlements

Good Morning Silicon Valley discusses a cy pres award from an class action settlement involving alleged unpaid overtime against a video game manufacturer that went to pay for scholarships for students studying video game design:

http://blogs.siliconvalley.com/gmsv/2008/09/class-action-helps-fund-class-action.html

Enough links to an entry from The Real Battle in Seattle discussing a movement by protesters arrested during the 1999 WTO meetings in Seattle to donate proceeds from a class action verdict to fund global justice projects:

http://www.enoughenough.org/blog/59/returning-class-action-funds-to-the-global-justice-movement/

http://www.realbattleinseattle.org/node/71

Class Action (and Related) News

Slashdot is one of many non-law blogs to comment on a class action filed against a video game manufacturer for allegedly including undisclosed invasive copy protection software in its video games that could not be uninstalled:

http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/24/1939256&from=rss

SCOTUS Blog previews an upcoming oral argument in a case brought by public-sector union members on behalf of a proposed class seeking to hold unconstitutional certain public-sector union service fees earmarked for litigation on behalf of affiliated collective bargaining units:

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/scotuswiki-preview-locke-v-karass/#more-7970

Class Action Trends

The D&O Diary considers whether a recent New York federal court’s order dismissing a pre-subprime crisis case involving alleged failure to disclose risky investments may portend an end to subprime-related securities litigation:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/09/articles/securities-litigation/does-dismissal-foreshadow-subprime-litigation-culmination/

Canadian attorney Daniel A. Lublin discusses the potential benefits of bringing a group of individual wrongful dismissal claims rather than pursuing a class action:

http://blog.toronto-employmentlawyer.com/toronto_employment_lawyer/2008/09/class-action-la.html

The Consumerist showcases the latest website dedicated to providing information about class action settlements:

http://consumerist.com/5054244/find-class-action-settlements-at-topclassactionscom#c7958619

Class Action Commentary

Drug and Device Law Blog and Point of Law summarize a recent National Law Journal article by Michigan Law Professor Adam Pritchard discussing a possible mechanism for companies to unilaterally insulate themselves from certain securities class actions:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/10/end-of-securities-fraud-class-actions.html

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/10/basic-inc-v-lev.php

This student post from The Race to the Bottom summarizes developments in the last of the securities fraud cases pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York involving Italian dairy company Parmalat:

http://www.theracetothebottom.org/home/parmalat-claims-dismissed-against-banks-auditors-and-attorne.html

CAFA Law Blog answers reader mail with commentary on the applicability of the diversity jurisdiction provisions of Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to both removal and original jurisdiction:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-resources-cafa-law-blog-mail-bag-an-inquiry-from-one-of-our-readers.html

The Deal Sleuth offers a defense of securities class action lawsuits:

http://thedealsleuth.wordpress.com/2008/09/24/in-defense-of-shareholder-class-actions/

Robert Galoppini’s Commercial Open Source Software makes an apt quote to Shakespeare in reporting on the position taken by several consumer associations in an amicus brief filed in a case involving alleged copyright infringement by the maker of a technology capable of both infringing and noninfringing technologies (referred to as “multi-use technologies”):

http://robertogaloppini.net/2008/09/29/peer-to-peer-demonization-a-class-action-in-favor-of-multi-use-technologies/

The Lighter Side of Class Actions

Internet Monk announces a “class action” against the publisher of a new study Bible for mental anguish in causing great anticipation for its publication…

http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/van-til-announces-class-action-lawsuit-against-justin-taylor-for-cruelty-and-abuse-of-bibliophiles

… and draws a response from the “defendant”

http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/09/class-action-lawsuit-against-your.html

Read Full Post »

Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

The UCL Practitioner quotes a recent California Court of Appeal decision reversing a trial court’s order denying class certification on the ground that the court had not allowed pre-certification discovery of the identity of possible replacement class representatives under Pioneer Electronics v. Superior Court, 40 Cal. 4th 360 (2007) (link to opinion provided by Class Action Defense Blog):

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/09/new-class-certi.html

CAFA Law Blog provides a synopsis of a Louisiana federal court decision addressing the time for removal under CAFA and the non-applicability under CAFA of the “first-served” rule, which provided that all defendants had to join in a removal petition within 30 days from the date that the first defendant was served with process:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-eastern-district-of-louisiana-says-no-go-noto-refusing-to-remand-cafa-case-back-to-state-court-on-timeliness-issue.html

Class Action Defense Blog summarizes a California opinion upholding the dismissal of a claim for attorneys fees under a fee sharing agreement that was not disclosed prior to another court’s ruling on a fee award in an underlying class action settlement:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/09/attorney_fees_class_action_def_1.html

Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog discusses a Delaware Chancery Court decision allowing objectors limited discovery in evaluating the fairness of a class action settlement:

http://www.delawarelitigation.com/2008/09/articles/chancery-court-updates/limited-discovery-allowed-for-objectors-to-class-action-settlement/

Class Action News

Jurist reports on a class action lawsuit filed against the NSA, President Bush, Vice President Chaney, and other government officials for actions in connection with their warrantless surveillance program to gather consumer information from telecommunications companies:

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2008/09/class-action-lawsuit-filed-over-us.php

Tribune Company issues a press release regarding an ERISA class action filed by various reporters, editors, and other employees of the LA Times, a case covered in various blog entries last week.  (See last week’s CABWR)…

http://www.tribune.com/pressroom/releases/2008/09172008.html

… and more on the case from Southern California Public Radio:

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/kpcc/kpccnewsinbrief/2008/09/la-times-employees-file-class.html

Point of Law reports on the settlement of long-standing litigation against the New York City’s homeless programs by consolidating all pending litigation into a single class action settlement:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/09/nyc-settles-maj.php

Class Action Commentary

A Seattle Supersonics fan provides an insider’s view of a heated battle over a subpoena issued by the defendant to a founder of the fan-organized lobbying group, Save our Sonics, in a putative class action for alleged deceptive marketing practices filed on behalf of Sonics ticketholders against the ownership group that recently moved the team to Oklahoma City, from Seattle Center Arena Reboot:

http://seattlecenterarenareboot.blogspot.com/2008/09/dispatches-from-tenth-circle-sonics-fan.html

The Complex Litigator offers commentary on developments in California case law regarding the preclusive effect of a denial of class certification:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/09/johnson-v-gla-1.html

Spam Notes comments on a recent class action settlement involving alleged text messaging spam and addresses the issue whether text messaging spam falls within the purview of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA):

http://spamnotes.com/2008/09/23/do-text-messgaes-fall-within-the-tcpa.aspx?ref=rss

Practice Tips

Drug and Device Law Blog offers a “Multidistrict Litigation Compendium,” which includes a clarification of the distinction between the MDL process and class certification:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/09/multidistrict-litigation-compendium.html

Class Action Trends 

Mass Tort Litigation Blog offers a link to an ABA Litigation News Section Report discussing a trend in courts ordering a full evidentiary Daubert hearing to assess the admissibility of expert testimony at the class certification stage of a class action:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/09/daubert-hearing.html

The D&O Diary discusses the “dark new phase” of litigation spawned from the subprime economic crisis:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/09/articles/subprime-litigation/litigation-wave-inflection-point/

… and for loads of content on various other legal issues implicated by the financial crisis and proposed bailout, see http://www.theracetothebottom.org/.

Real Lawyers Have Blogs updates a previous story about a plaintiffs’ class action law firm that hired a PR firm to post a message on the social networking website Twitter seeking potential class representatives.  The update reports that the PR firm retracted the post following media and public reaction, but defended its use of Twitter to generate publicity about a potential class action as in the public interest…

http://kevin.lexblog.com/2008/09/articles/social-networking-1/pr-firm-retracts-twitter-post-looking-for-class-action-plaintiffs/

… and another brief commentary on the story from Overlawyered:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/09/using-twitter-to-scare-up-class-action-plaintiffs/

International Class Action Law

Securities Docket and Bankruptcy Information Centre discuss issues facing two British pension funds in pursuing securities class action claims against the now bankrupt Lehman Bros. investment bank:

http://www.securitiesdocket.com/2008/09/22/uk-pension-funds-in-lehman-bros-securities-class-action-weighing-options/

http://bankruptcy.org.uk/bankruptcy-news/pension-funds-review-status-of-lehman-class-action-ipecom/ (quoting article from IPE.com)

Legal Pad LA discusses a class action for life insurance benefits filed on behalf of a putative class of descendants of victims of the Armenian genocide of World War I against a foreign insurer in federal court in California:

http://www.lalegalpad.com/2008/09/descendants-of.html

ElectEcon takes issue with a Canadian usury law that formed the basis of a Ontario court’s decision holding a Canadian Satellite TV company’s late fees illegal in a class action decision impacting millions of customers: 

http://www.eclectecon.net/2008/09/consumer-protec.html

Remember the Midwest comments on an article in Australian newspaper The Age discussing a possible trend in securities class actions arising out of a company’s failure to disclose facts concerning its carbon emissions.  (for a ClassActionBlawg entry discussing the same article, click here):

http://rememberthemidwest.blogspot.com/2008/09/class-action-climate.html

Multinational Corporations links to a Business Day South Africa article reporting on developments in a case filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act against several multinational corporations for their alleged complicity in the former apartheid policy of the South African government:

http://www.multinationalcorporations.info/blog/9675/apartheid-class-action-group-in-us-court-again%C2%A0-business-day-south-africa/

Class Action Politics

Primary Monitor Blog provides a list of issues on which Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain agree, including their support of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA):

http://199.125.75.56/primaryblog/voting_records_where_mccain_obama_have_agreed

Read Full Post »

Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

For a “brief” commentary on a case addressing the removability under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of a class action counterclaim by a plaintiff/counterclaim defendant, see this guest commentary from Dallas attorney Jonathan Bridges on CAFA Law Blog:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-guest-commentary-fourth-circuit-to-decide-whether-to-let-att-pull-up-its-shorts-class-action-to-federal-court.html

Class Action Defense Blog summarizes a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that a state’s parens patriae action brought on behalf of its citizens was removable under CAFA:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/09/cafa_class_action_defense_case_19.html

Mass Tort Defense summarizes a Kentucky federal court decision denying class certification in a toxic tort lawsuit in part based on plaintiffs’ ability to articulate an appropriate class definition:

http://www.masstortdefense.com/2008/09/articles/federal-court-rejects-toxic-tort-class-action/

Consumer Law & Policy Blog summarizes a September 8, 2008 decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals applying Missouri law in upholding a class arbitration ban in a consumer class action involving prepaid gift cards:

http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2008/09/eighth-circuit.html 

Class Action Commentary

Training Marketer discusses potential impacts from a class action settlement involving claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) seeking access to a retail store’s website for persons with disabilities…

http://trainingtime.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/target-settles-class-action-ada-lawsuit-is-your-site-compliant/

… more on providing online access to visually impaired users from That Credit Union Blog

http://thatcreditunionblog.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/providing-online-accommodations-for-the-visually-impaired/

… and The Industry Standard:

http://www.thestandard.com/news/2008/09/15/target-pact-wont-lead-web-access-standards

The Defense Base Act Blog discusses possible impacts that the Defense Base Act could have on pending class action litigation involving claims that a company’s acts of not training its employees properly for work in Iraq has led to injuries to other employees:

http://defensebaseactblog.com/2008/09/12/will-the-defense-base-act-foil-the-recent-class-action-law-suit-against-kbr/

Class Action Scandals

Health Care Renewal comments on the University of Minnesota’s recruitment of a health insurance company executive who resigned in the wake of a stock option backdating scandal:

http://hcrenewal.blogspot.com/2008/09/university-of-minnesota-courts-mcguire.html

Class Action Reform

Watchdog Blog endorses proposed legislation that would prohibit class arbitration waivers in credit card agreements:

http://citizen.typepad.com/watchdog_blog/2008/09/arbitration-wil.html

Class Action Settlements

Overlawyered updates earlier commentary on a $688 million attorneys fee awarded in an Enron class action settlement:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/09/coughlin-stoia-amlaw-daily-and-prof-john-coffee-contd/

The Consumerist reports on frustrations in trying to participate in a class action settlement after receiving notice:

http://consumerist.com/5048989/join-the-verizon-etf-class-action-if-they-would-only-let-you

Class Action (and Related) Scholarship

California Punitive Damages provides a synopsis and brief commentary on a recent scholarly work entitled “Punitive Damages and Class Actions” written by Professors Fransesco Parisi (Minnesota) and Marta Cenini (Milan)…

http://calpunitives.blogspot.com/2008/09/law-review-article-punitive-damages-and.html

… and more on the same article from Mass Tort Litigation Blog:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/09/parisi-and-ceni.html

Point of Law reviews a paper entitled “The Use of Litigation Screenings in Mass Torts: A Formula for Fraud?” authored by Cardozo Law Professor Lester Brickman:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/09/brickman-of-1-m.php#more

Wage Law recommends the paper “Class Certification in the Age of Aggregate Proof” by Vanderbilt Professor Richard A. Nagreda:

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/09/class-certification-in-the-age-of-aggregate-proof.html

Class Action News

Fitz & JenLuke Ford.net, paidContent.org, and Portfolio.com discuss an ERISA class action filed by editors, writers, and other employees of a major newspaper recently acquired through the alleged misuse of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP): 

http://www.fitzandjen.com/2008/09/jen-if-you-thin.html

http://lukeford.net/blog/?p=5006

http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-jack-nelson-among-current-ex-tribune-co-staffers-trying-class-action-su/

http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/mixed-media/2008/09/16/la-times-refugees-sue-for-control-of-paper

Class Action Trends

The D&O Diary discusses the latest in options backdating settlements:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/09/articles/options-backdating/options-backdating-settlement-news-apple-and-unitedhealth/

Real Lawyers Have Blogs discusses a well-known plaintiffs’ class action firm’s use of social networking website Twitter to find prospective class representatives:

http://kevin.lexblog.com/2008/09/articles/social-networking-1/law-firm-using-twitter-to-find-plainitiffs-for-class-action-law-suit/

Rhondak discusses the use of small claims court as a “poor man’s class action” to vindicate consumer’s rights:

http://rhondak.livejournal.com/1036526.html

Read Full Post »

Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

Law and Insurance discusses a recent Texas Supreme Court decision holding that a duty to defend was triggered in the context of class actions in which the plaintiffs argued that an alleged product defect in cell phones allegedly could cause brain injury, even though the plaintiffs only sought to recover the cost of a headset as damages on behalf of class members and did not seek damages for actual bodily injuries…

http://lawandinsurance.typepad.com/law_and_insurance/2008/09/cost-of-cellpho.html

… and Point of Law discusses a Pennsylvania federal court decision dismissing a putative class action involving similar claims that cell phones cause brain damage on federal preemption grounds:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/09/angelos-strikes.php

CAFA Law Blog discusses a Rhode Island federal court decision rejecting the “legal certainty” standard for meeting the $5 million amount in controversy requirement under CAFA:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-short-case-from-small-state-rhode-island-handles-cafa-amount-in-controversy-standard.html

Alaska Employment Law discusses a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding sanctions in an FLSA/state wage hybrid class action for the failure to provide Rule 26 damages disclosures for all plaintiffs who opted in to the suit:

http://www.akemplaw.com/wiki/2008/09/04/9th-cir-sanctions-in-hybrid-flsa-opt-in-class-action/

How Appealing and Securities Docket discuss and provide links to a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision reversing a lower court’s dismissal of a securities fraud case involving statements about the commercial marketability of the drug Vioxx:

http://howappealing.law.com/090908.html#030206

http://www.securitiesdocket.com/2008/09/09/third-circuit-reverses-dismissal-by-lower-court-in-merck-securities-class-action/

Plan Adviser summarizes and provides a link to a recent Iowa federal district court decision denying class certification in an ERISA case filed against a retirement plan service provider on behalf of a would-be class of tens of thousands of 401K plans:

http://www.planadviser.com/article.php/2778

Class Action Defense Blog summarizes an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Decision upholding decertification of a class based on the individualized nature of the damages claimed in a case alleging federal Truth in Leasing regulations:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/09/class_action_defense_casesowne.html

Class Action News

The Complex Litigator reports that a petition for review has been filed in the highly publicized wage and hour class action decision by the California Court of Appeal in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/09/petition-for-re.html

The D&O Diary discusses a securities class action filing against mortgage giant Fannie Mae in the wake of the federal government’s takeover this past weekend:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/09/articles/subprime-litigation/first-the-government-takeover-then-the-lawsuit/

Classified provides a summary of recent class action news from the Southeastern U.S.:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=236

THR Esq. reports on the upcoming trial date in a class action filed by former NFL players against the NFL Player’s Association:

http://reporter.blogs.com/thresq/2008/09/class-action-ag.html

PogoWasRight.org discusses reports on a trend in Korea on class action filings resulting from alleged acts of illegal downloading of customer information from publicly available broadband wireless connections:

http://www.pogowasright.org/article.php?story=20080908063543355

Class Action (and related) Commentary

The Race to the Bottom offers more installments of its response to securities class action reforms proposed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Litigation Reform:

http://www.theracetothebottom.org/home/the-chamber-of-commerce-and-excessive-litigation-be-careful-5.html

Drug and Device Law Blog provides a follow up to last week’s discussion of the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) process:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-long-does-mdl-process-take.html

Class Action Settlements

Overlawyered and The AmLaw Daily report on the $688 million fee award approved for imprisoned lawyer William Lerach’s former firm in a class action settlement arising out of the Enron scandal:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/09/enron-class-action-lawyers-set-to-get-688-million/

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2008/09/coughlin-stoia.html

Life of Brad asks lawyers for help in assessing whether any negative repercussions might come of his decision to do nothing and remain part of a class action settlement:

http://lifeofbrad.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/symantec-corporation-class-action-lawsuit-vs-a-lot-of-people/

Canadian Class Action Law

Morton’s Musings reports on a ruling by an Ontario court allowing a class action to proceed against the Canadian federal government for alleged negligence in allowing “Mad Cow” disease to spread into the Canadian market from England:

http://jmortonmusings.blogspot.com/2008/09/mad-cow-class-action-gets-judges.html

Dipper Chick discusses the use of class actions as a tool by minority party candidates in Canada for seeking ballot and media access in elections:

http://dipperchick.blogspot.com/2008/09/dion-doesnt-get-to-bring-his-personal.html

Read Full Post »

Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

The UCL Practitioner provides a summary of recent decisions in several U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals involving the standards for approving class action settlements and fee awards.  http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/08/recent-class-ac.html

Class Action Defense Blog comments on a California federal court decision addressing class certification in a wage and hour class action for alleged unpaid wages for meal and rest breaks in light of the California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (2008 WL 2806613)…

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/09/class_action_defense_caseskimo.html

… and  more from the same decision on National Law Journal’s Legal Pad, LA…

http://www.lalegalpad.com/2008/09/federal-judge-r.html

… and commentary from Wage Law on the possible unintended consequences of Brinker.

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/08/the-law-of-unintended-consequences.html

CAFA Law Blog provides another entertaining musical revue of a CAFA remand case, this time to the tune of a Steve Miller Band favorite:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-plaintiff-gets-on-that-707-with-plans-of-rridin-high-but-that-big-ol-jet-airliner-wont-carry-her-too-far-away.html

Classified offers a synopsis of a Florida federal court decision analyzing whether the superiority element of class certification was met in a fair debt collection case despite the fact that the alleged damages of individual class members were de minimus:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=235

The Insurance Reinsurance Blog summarizes and provides a link to an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a lower court’s decision dismissing an insurance class action on the ground that permitting a federal lawsuit to go forward would impair Missouri’s right to regulate insurance and would violate the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

http://www.insurereinsure.com/BlogHome.aspx?entry=929

North Carolina Appellate Blog summarizes a North Carolina Court of Appeals decision holding that Rule 23(c) did not require notice to absent class members in the event of a court-ordered dismissal as opposed to a voluntary dismissal.

http://womblencappellate.blogspot.com/2008/09/coa-holds-that-no-class-notice-required.html

Several blogs, including the Consumerist, Tech News, and LawMemo commented on the Washington Supreme Court’s decision last week holding a class arbitration waiver unconscionable.

http://consumerist.com/5043570/washington-upholds-att-customers-right-to-class-action#c7514731

http://www.newsvine.in/2008/09/02/once-again-court-says-telco-cant-force-arbitration-over-a-lawsuit/

http://www.lawmemo.com/arbitrationblog/2008/09/unconscionabili.html

Practice Tips

Drug and Device Law Blog offers an excellent summary of the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) coordination process:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/09/multidistrict-litigation-process.html

The Complex Litigator has been providing on-location updates from the Consumer Attorneys Association of LA (CAALA) annual convention, including this summary of practice pointers on the prosecution of class actions in California by attorney Jerome Ringler:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/08/liveblogging–2.html

Class Action Trends

DigitalDay Break comments on what a recent class action lawsuit and settlement regarding online accessibility for the disabled might mean to online marketers.

http://digitaldaybreak.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/what-the-target-accessibility-lawsuit-ruling-means-to-online-marketers/

The D&O Diary discusses reasons why D&O insurance premiums have not skyrocketed despite the recent wave of subprime litigation.

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/08/articles/d-o-insurance/subprime-lawsuits-mount-so-what-about-do-pricing/

Class Action (and related) Commentary

Federal Civil Practice Bulletin summarizes an article from Vanderbilt Professor Richard A. Nagreda entitled “Class Certification in the Age of Aggregate Proof”:

http://federalcivilpracticebulletin.blogspot.com/2008/09/prof-nagareda-posts-article-on-class.html

Overlawyered reports on a modest proposal from ESPN Columnist Rick Reilly that a class action be filed against minor league baseball players who “sat stewing in the minors while big leaguers were allowed to cheat.” 

http://overlawyered.com/2008/08/espn-columnist-minor-league-players-should-sue-over-steroids/

North Carolina Business Litigation Report discusses a North Carolina Court of Appeals decision allowing a plaintiff to proceed in a usury and deceptive trade practices action challenging the practice of litigation funding, or an agreement providing for an advance of litigation costs by a law firm in exchange for a premium return in the event that the case was successful.  Coincidently, the decision comes as the practice of litigation funding is becoming more common overseas.

http://www.ncbusinesslitigationreport.com/2008/09/articles/class-actions/the-practice-of-litigation-funding-gets-a-chilly-reception-from-the-north-carolina-court-of-appeals/#more

and more commentary on the acceptance of litigation funding in loser pays jurisdictions like Australia, from Point of Law:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/09/shareholder-cla.php

Mass Tort Litigation Blog addresses recent changes to British law permitting investment in law firms:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/08/uk-changes-allo.html

The Race to the Bottom provides a critical, multi-part response to a July report issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Litigation Reform, which proposed various reforms in securities class actions.

http://www.theracetothebottom.org/home/the-chamber-of-commerce-and-excessive-litigation-be-careful-3.html

“Urban-based accidental journalist” curb girl laments life as an absent class member in a class action settlement involving health insurance in a way that she does not find entirely clear:

http://sidewalkeater.blogspot.com/2008/09/class-action.html

Class Action Politics?

Christina Walldren criticizes Barack Obama’s support for the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), arguing that CAFA has the effect of “shutting off avenues of redress” for “working class people”…

http://christinawalldren.com/2008/09/02/we-shall-overcome/

… and more commentary sharing the same general sentiment from the designers.

http://jevdet.blogspot.com/2008/09/corporate-state-lackey-obama.html

As an aside, for all of you disenfranchised members of the radical left, In case it helps you feel better, I can tell you from experience that discrimination, employment, and consumer fraud class actions are still going strong and state courts are still seeing their fair share of class actions despite the “thinly veiled ‘special interest extravaganza’” that led to CAFA’s passage–and PLEASE remember that a vote for Ralph Nader (or Dr. John Hagelin or Lyndon LaRouche) is a vote for Bush.

But lest you think that the far left is the only group not solidly on the Obamamania bandwagon, here’s an entry from the Delaware Curmudgeon quoting with approval this analysis from legal scholar “jmflynny,” who responds to an Obama campaign charge that John McCain and Sarah Palin are against equal pay for equal work with the statement that “the Democrat Party hates businesses, given that they want to give any employee the right to file, without proof, class-action lawsuits for something that may or may not have happened decades ago.”

http://delawarecurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/09/on-equal-pay-for-equal-work-issue.html

Another friendly reminder–a vote for Bush is also a vote for Bush.  A vote for Bob Barr on the other hand…

…Nope.  Still a vote for Bush.

Finally, here is arguably the most balanced blog commentary from this past week on the relative positions of the presidential candidates on class action and tort reform issues, written by, I hate to admit this, a trial lawyer…

http://www.nctriallawblog.com/north_carolina_trial_law_/2008/08/mccain-v-obama.html

Read Full Post »

Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

The Complex Litigator and The UCL Practitioner offer analysis of a recent California class certification decision addressing a variety of issues, including ascertainability of the class, evaluation of the merits in ruling on class certification, commonality and predominance:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/08/certification-d.html

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/08/new-class-cer-1.html

Class Action Defense Blog provides a synopsis of a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the district court’s order reducing a negotiated fee award from 8.5% to 3% in a securities class action settlement:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/08/class_action_defense_casesin_r_115.html

CAFA Law Blog summarizes a Massachusetts state court decision that looked to provisions of the federal Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) in rejecting a coupon settlement, recognizing that while CAFA did not apply expressly in the state court proceeding, its provisions reflected “mainstream” concerns with coupon settlements:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-judge-says-chew-on-this-in-disapproving-settlement-in-smokeless-tobacco-class-action.html

Mass Tort Defense reviews a recent decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denying certification of a class of rice farmers claiming damages resulting from genetically modified rice contamination (synopsis also provided by Class Action Defense Blog, cited in last week’s CABWR):

http://www.masstortdefense.com/2008/08/articles/mdl-court-rejects-class-action-in-genetically-modified-rice-litigation/

Consumer Advertising Law Blog discusses a Fifth Circuit decision reversing class certification in a case involving allegations of unsolicited faxes in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA):

http://www.consumeradvertisinglawblog.com/2008/08/the-fax-of-the-matter-court-holds-that-consumer-protection-case-not-proper-for-class-certification.html

Florida Appellate Blog discusses a recent Florida state court decision addressing the practice of “picking off” a class representative by offering to settle for the full amount of his or her claim in an effort to moot the class action:

http://www.floridaappellateblog.com/2008/08/ucc-notice-requirements-and-picking-off-a-class-representative-is-not-condoned.html

Dispatch Monthly Magazine reports on a federal court’s decision to grant class certification to a class of police dispatchers in a case challenging department regulations for returning to work after sick or injury leave:

http://www.911dispatch.com/db/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1996

HousingBath.com discusses the denial of class certification in a lawsuit filed against a condominium developer by purchasers seeking to void their contracts due to alleged defects in the building:

http://housingbath.com/2008/08/daily-soak-august-25.html

TortsProf Blog comments on an article from the Legal Intelligencer (reprinted at www.Law.com) discussing a ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversing the dismissal, on preemption grounds, of a consumer class action against a manufacturer for alleged failure to warn about the dangers of mercury in tuna:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2008/08/mercury-in-tuna.html

Class Action News

More from American Thinker, Death by 1000 Paper Cuts, National Review Online’s The Corner, Libertyville, Under the Dome, Spencer Blog, and LukeFord.net on Warren Buffett’s recent suggestion that contributors file a class action against John Edwards for concealing his extramarital affair (See ClassActionBlawg.com entry here)…

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/08/buffett_suggests_edwards_suppo.html

http://deathby1000papercuts.blogspot.com/2008/08/john-edwards-campaign-refunds-more.html

http://libertyville.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/buffet-calls-for-class-action-on-edwards/

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YTIyMDI3ZGUzZmNkZGI0ZWE2ZWUzOGNlMDc4ZmMzNzg=

http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/buffett_says_donors_should_sue_edwards

http://www3.allaroundphilly.com/blogs/delcotimes/gils/2008/08/buffett-on-edwards-sue-em.html

http://lukeford.net/blog/?p=3966

… with follow up from NewsBusters.org and Perfunction regarding efforts by Edwards to refund contributions to just one of his “Two Americas” (Spoiler: it’s the one with the class action lawyers in it, not the one with Buffett’s proposed class action plaintiffs):

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2008/08/25/web-scoops-msm-edwards-refunds-contributions-one-his-americas

http://perfunction.typepad.com/perfunction/2008/08/coda-john-edwar.html

Class Action Commentary

Legal Theory Blog summarizes an article by Vanderbilt Law Professor Richard A. Nagareda with the fairly self-explanatory title, “Class Certification in the Age of Aggregate Proof”:

http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheory/2008/08/nagareda-on-cla.html

Mass Tort Litigation Blog provides an abstract and link to an article by Michigan law student Patrick Luff criticizing the weighing of the costs and benefits that could result from certifying a class in making a class certification decision:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/08/new-scholarship.html

Overlawyered comments on a curious case of forum shopping where plaintiffs’ counsel was successful in pursuing a nationwide class action filed in Oklahoma seeking to apply Texas law after a Texas court had previously rejected the same claims, holding that Texas law did not permit the type of nationwide class that the plaintiffs sought to pursue:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/08/the-inverted-federalism-of-grider-v-compaq/

Nonlawyer Commentary

See this www.eHow.com article for a non-lawyer’s perspective on the practical aspects of starting a personal injury class action lawsuit:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4491550_personal-injury-class-action-lawsuit.html

And if you are looking for one consumer’s viewpoints on participating in a class action settlement, see this entry from Queercents:

http://www.queercents.com/2008/08/22/are-class-action-lawsuits-worth-your-time-and-money/

Legal Ethics

Wage Law has posted a request from the California State Bar for public comment on a proposed ethics rule regarding “Offers of Settlement Conditioned on Client’s Waiver of Statutory Right to Seek Attorney’s Fees”:

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/08/public-comment-sought-on-proposed-ethics-rule.html

Class Action Trends

Apparently www.SueEasy.com is still alive and going strong, according to these entries from WebWare and MakeUseOf.com:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10020627-2.html?part=rss&subj=Webware

http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/sueeasy-file-complaint-class-action-lawsuit/

Class Action News

Sagwatch Blog reports on the setting of a trial date in a class action filed by former NFL players against the NFL Players Association seeking payments under a group licensing agreement:

http://blog.sagwatch.net/2008/08/25/sept-22-trial-date-set-in-players-inc-lawsuit/

International Class Action Law

Point of Law comments on a unique feature of British law that allows investors to purchase an ownership interest in litigation and examines the challenges of allowing a similar mechanism in the United States:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/08/beyond-continge.php

The D&O Diary comments on what NERA has called “the largest settlement in a class action securities case in Canadian history,” the relationship between the Canadian case and the U.S. subprime crisis, and its potential impact on trends in subprime litigation in the U.S.:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/08/articles/subprime-litigation/subprime-litigation-a-glimpse-of-the-end-game/

Read Full Post »

Here are links to some blog posts from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

Class Action Defense Blog reviews a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denying class certification in consolidated cases filed by U.S. rice growers against the manufacturer of genetically modified rice seed for allegedly contaminating the U.S. rice supply.  The court denied certification on predominance grounds despite an argument by the plaintiffs that because of bans on the genetically-modified traits outside the U.S., the contamination had the effect of reducing the overall market price of U.S. rice prices, finding that the actual price of rice for any given grower depended on a variety of other factors:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/08/class_action_defense_casesin_r_112.html

Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog comments on a class action with an intriguing procedural history: a class action settlement was disapproved, an objector became the class representative, and then a later settlement was approved over objections that the class representative was inadequate for failing to monitor class counsel:

http://www.delawarelitigation.com/2008/08/articles/chancery-court-updates/chancery-rules-on-selection-of-class-representative-for-class-action/

Class Action Articles

CAFA Law Blog summarizes a case note analyzing the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)’s jurisdictional burden of proof and a law review article authored by Tulane Law Professor Edward F. Sherman exploring CAFA’s various provisions:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/legal-publications-and-articles-interested-in-jurisdictional-burden-of-proof-still-then-weve-got-a-law-review-article-for-you.html

http://www.cafalawblog.com/ (See entry entitled “Rekindled: Sherman’s March Through The Class Action Fairness Act Continues . . . .”)

Drug and Device Law Blog summarizes various articles in a symposium issue of the Tulane Law Review addressing issues relating to Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), including the use of MDL as alternative when a class action is not appropriate and the use of bellwether trials in MDL:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/08/tulane-law-review-mdl-symposium-issue.html

Class Action Commentary

Point of Law offers an analysis of the application of the cy pres doctrine in class action awards.  (See previous ClassActionBlog.com entry here):

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/08/more-on-our-cla.php

The Oklahoma Opinion has some criticisms of class action settlements:

http://oklahomaopinion.blogspot.com/2008/08/class-action-lawsuit-laws-money-saving.html

Beanstalk Talk recounts frustrations with not being able to participate in a class action settlement due to the inability to present service receipts as proof of his claim:

http://beanstalktalk.com/beanblog/lets-get-a-grip-on-those-mailing-lists/

Goddess Rising reports on a class action lawsuit filed by a self-described anti-feminist claiming that Columbia University’s women’s studies program is discriminatory because its curriculum has instilled in women a hatred towards men and a belief that men are the root of all evil…

http://goddessesrising.blogspot.com/2008/08/class-action-suit-from-classy-guy.html

… more from Kay Steiger on the same case

http://kaysteiger.blogspot.com/2008/08/misogyny-of-day.html

… more from Cogitamus on the same case and on earlier actions by the same plaintiff, including one seeking damages from New York nightclubs for charging him more than women on “Ladies Night”… 

http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2008/08/shorter-roy-den.html

… (and no, this “guy’s rights advocate” is apparently not a character from Ally McBeal)

Class Action Trends

The Complex Litigator addresses developments in California law regarding a proposed class representative’s right to discovery of information concerning other would-be class members:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/08/class-discovery.html

The D&O Diary surveys the latest in subprime-related class action filings:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/08/articles/subprime-litigation/subprime-litigation-something-old-something-new/

SEC Actions reports on trends in securities class actions:

http://www.secactions.com/?p=438

The Bizop News discusses trends in remedies in misleading advertizing class actions:

http://www.bizop.ca/blog2/recovery-of-losses/remedies-for-misleading-advert.html

Class Action Scandals

Point of Law links to a series of Examiner newspaper articles on convicted trial lawyer William Lerach…

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/08/around-the-web-62.php

…and more comments from ShopFloor on the William Lerach scandal:

http://www.shopfloor.org/2008/08/18/class-action-lawsuits-and-bill-lerach-a-debriefing/

International Class Action Law
 
Overlawyered provides a link to an article about an unsuccessful toxic tort class action in Saudi Arabia:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/08/august-19-roundup/

Homodox comments on the case of the Knights Templar vs. the Pope (see ClassActionBlawg.com entry here):

http://mhollick.typepad.com/homodox_a_blog/2008/08/a-class-action-seven-hundred-years-in-the-making.html

Practice Tips

The UCL Practitioner comments on a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding an order granting a defendant’s motion to strike class allegation before the filing of a class certification motion and offers possible arguments that plaintiffs’ counsel might make when facing a similar preemptive motion:

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/08/recent-class-ce.html

Class Action Reform

Green Country Values quotes a recent article on LegalNewsline.com, which discusses proposed reforms aimed at preventing state attorneys general from profiting from the legal actions they bring, and comments on the impact that those reforms might have on the desirability of the office:

Class Action News
 
Check out these entries in Honolulu Adviser and Ticket News about a Hawaii court’s decision to grant class certification to a class of Aerosmith fans after a canceled Maui concert (I have resisted the urge to make one of several possible puns using the title of an Aerosmith song. You’ll have to wait for the CAFA Law Blog post for that):

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080813/BREAKING03/80813065/-1/RSS01

http://www.ticketnews.com/Lawsuit-over-canceled-Hawaiian-Aerosmith-concert-moves-to-class-action-status88141231

Mass Tort Litigation Blog comments on a news report about an Iraqi contractor who has filed a would-be class action against a government contractor for alleged inadequate training of its employees before sending them to work in Iraq:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/08/iraq-injuries-s.html

NARF News reports on a hearing on several pretrial motions in a putative class action filed by several American Indian tribes against the United States Department of the Interior seeking an accounting of lands held in trust for 260 tribes:

http://narfnews.blogspot.com/2008/08/court-to-decide-jurisdiction-over.html

Ink Slinger reports on the success of various age discrimination class actions brought by over-40 Hollywood TV writers:

http://cekinla.blogspot.com/2008/08/hollywoods-love-for-older-writernot.html

Business Opinions offers a modest proposal for resolving a class action lawsuit filed against the Quebec gaming commission by a would-be class of gambling addicts:

http://businessopinions.blogspot.com/2008/08/problem-gamblers-sue-gaming-commission.html

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports on FTC statements made regarding the lack of evidence of any health benefits associated with a product marketed by a dietary supplement company to fight colds, and the company’s response, which included the quip, “We’re just one of many major consumer brands across America that are under assault by class-action lawyers”…

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/15/feds-no-credible-evidence-that-airborne-fights-colds/

… and more on the same story from Wallstrip:

http://www.wallstrip.com/2008/08/15/airborne-catches-some-germs/

Cryptozoology News

Finally, I’m very saddened to report that my hopes of confirmation that Bigfoot exists were dashed today with news that the discovery of a Bigfoot corpse turned out to be a hoax!  I still believe…

Read Full Post »

Due to my blog sabbatical last week, here are two weeks worth of blog postings that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

The folks at CAFA Law Blog decided to post a great new entry on a recent Class Action Fairness Act decision seemingly every few minutes during the past week, so rather than summarize them here, I’ll just direct you to the main page:

http://www.cafalawblog.com/  

The same goes for the numerous summaries of class action decisions available at Class Action Defense Blog:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/  

North Carolina Business Litigation Report reviews a decision by the Business Court of that state establishing rules to be followed in the event of a pre-certification dismissal of a class action:

http://www.ncbusinesslitigationreport.com/2008/08/articles/class-actions/new-business-court-rules-of-the-road-for-precertification-dismissals-of-class-actions/

NJ Personal Injury and Civil Cases summarizes a recent New Jersey state court decision addressing the proper forum for adjudicating whether the filing of an individual action in New Jersey constituted a valid opt out from a nationwide class action settlement in Tennessee:

http://njlawspersonalinjury.blogspot.com/2008/08/simmermon-v-dryvit-systems-inc.html

Kotaku.com summarizes the trial court’s denial of class certification in a proposed class action settlement of claims against a video game company for including offensive scenes in its video game…

http://kotaku.com/5033459/hot-coffee-class-action-suit-squashed-by-the-court  

… more from GamePolitics.com on the same decision…

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/07/31/judge-pops-cap-hot-coffee-class-action-settlement  

… and Overlawyered contributor Ted Frank, who had appeared as an objector in the case, provides some commentary on the decision:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/07/grand-theft-auto-class-action-the-denouement/#more-7351  

The UCL Practitioner comments on a recent New Mexico Supreme Court decision invalidating class arbitration waivers in certain consumer contracts and discusses other recent developments regarding the enforcement of class arbitration waivers:

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/08/new-mexico-supr.html  

For reviews of recent California federal district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decisions in wage and hour claims in the wake of the California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Brinker (see link to summary here), see this entry from The Complex Litigator (citing entries from The UCL Practitioner and Alaska Employment Law)…

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/08/the-ninth-circu.html

… and for more news related to the fallout from Brinker, see various other posts from The Complex Litigator:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com

Class Action News

The Am Law Daily provides summaries of various news items involving class actions, including a summary of the recent National Law Journal article discussing cy pres awards, a judgment in favor of Indian tribes in class action against the U.S. Government involving lands held in trust, and trends in securities class actions:

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2008/08/the-am-law-li-6.html

Northern Law Blog reports on a settlement in a class action filed on behalf of Division 1 football and men’s basketball players against the NCAA involving claims for underpayment of financial aid:

http://www.northernlawblog.com/2008/08/ncaa-class-action-settlement.html

Wage Law Blog reports on a class action filed against the California Department of Labor on behalf of employers who are the subject administrative action by that agency for lost wages sought by illegal aliens:

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/08/sushi-bar-sues-california-labor-commissioner-in-class-action.html

Class Action Commentary

Jere Beasley Report comments on the potential impact of a forthcoming decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in a putative class action brought by homeowners for mortgage fraud under the TILA:

http://www.jlbreport.com/2008/08/12/door-could-open-to-mortgage-class-actions/

Personal Injury Law Firm discusses the benefits and disadvantages of pursuing an asbestos case individually or as a class action:

http://www.personalinjurycourt.com/news/?p=112

NCPA Idea House comments on a recent report issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) addressing trends in securities class actions and providing proposals for reforms. (See previous ClassActionBlawg.com entry here)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?page=article&Article_ID=16885

… more on the report from Law Librarian Blog

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/law_librarian_blog/2008/08/securities-clas.html

… and from the U.S. Chamber’s own blog, Chamber Post:

http://www.chamberpost.com/2008/07/another-threat.html

Makeup Blog offers some criticisms of consumer class action settlements:

http://www.makeupblog.cn/real-estate/class-action-lawsuits.html

Mass Tort Litigation Blog provides a link to Scadden’s July 2008 Issue of Class Action Chronicle, which in turn has some great commentary on class action issues including communications with class members, defending class action trials, and trends in consumer class actions:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/07/july-2008-issue.html

Re: the Auditors has criticisms of practices by companies and their auditors in disclosures of legal contingencies posed by pending class actions:

http://www.retheauditors.com/2008/08/improving-contingency-disclosure-just.html

Point of Law reviews a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing that cy pres remedies in class actions are unconstitutional (See ClassActionBlawg.com entry here):

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/08/cy-pres-a-const.php

Class Action Trends

Another law blog with too much great content over the past two weeks to summarize here is The D&O Diary, which summarizes trends in securities litigation and analyzes developments in several specific securities class actions:

http://www.dandodiary.com/

Drug and Device Law Blog collects cases that address cross jurisdictional class action tolling in this entry:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/08/cross-jurisdictional-class-action.html

Crain’s New York Business reports on a sharp increase in the number of class action securities lawsuits in New York City, spawned by the subprime mortgage crisis…

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080731/FREE/676212586/-1/rss01&rssfeed=rss01

…while DC Dicta provides an overview of an ABA Journal article discussing statistics on subprime-related securities class action lawsuits from Cornerstone Research and Stanford Law School’s Securities Class Action Clearinghouse:

http://lawyersusadcdicta.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/subprime-fiasco-keeping-class-action-lawyers-busy/

NJ HELOC Heaven predicts that class actions lawsuits will follow from lenders’ decisions to reduce existing customers’ Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs):

http://njhelocheaven.blogspot.com/2008/08/class-lawsuits-are-starting.html

Point of Law discusses the latest in FACTA cases, which it describes as the “‘Gotcha’ statute on credit slip privacy.”

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/08/facta-hits-bato.php

International Class Action Law

Hannah Buxbaum provides a guest post on IntLawGrrls summarizing her article, Multinational Class Actions Under Federal Securities Law: Managing Jurisdictional Conflict, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 46, Issue 1, which addresses “foreign-cubed” securities class actions, or class actions brought in U.S. courts by foreign investors against foreign companies and brought on foreign exchanges:

http://intlawgrrls.blogspot.com/2008/07/foreign-cubed-class-action-us-courts.html

The UCL Practitioner provides a link to a website with great content on class action laws around the globe. (Also see this ClassActionBlawg.com entry discussing similar content offered by Stanford Law School):

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/08/other-countries.html

Practice Tips

In its Bulletproof Blog, Levick Communications provides advice to defendants on proactive alternatives to blanket denials in waging the PR battle in high stakes litigation:

http://www.bulletproofblog.com/2008/07/28/conflict-diamonds-and-the-jiu-jitsu-strategy/

Mass Private I reviews a consumer website called www.RipoffReport.com, which it says is used by various law enforcement agencies and law firms to perform background checks on businesses:

http://massprivatei.blogspot.com/2008/07/ripoff-report-is-useful-tool-for-fraud.html

Read Full Post »

Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

 

Class Action Decisions

 

The UCL Practitioner comments on a California Court of Appeal decision discussing, in dicta, the viability of defendant classes in California…

 

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/07/court-of-appeal.html

 

… and as The Complex Litigator notes with regard to the same decision, the court “penned a brief gem of a comment that will be of interest to class action practitioners (and nobody else on the planet),” which makes it perfect for the CABWR!

 

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/07/the-little-used.html

 

CAFA Law Blog offers the latest in a series of CAFA musical revues, summarizing a recent South Carolina federal court decision on CAFA removal to the tune of a Rolling Stones medley:

 

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-plaintiffs-ask-the-court-to-gimme-shelter-and-avoid-cafa-removal.html

 

Class Action Defense Blog provides a synopsis of a recent decision by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) addressing the appropriate venue for consolidation of 37 antitrust class actions pending in federal courts in 8 different federal courts where the parties, including different groups of plaintiffs, could not agree on a venue:

 

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/07/class_action_defense_casesin_r_105.html

 

Legal Pad summarizes a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision addressing the interplay between the removal bar imposed on state securities law claims imposed by section 22(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and the removal provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act:

 

http://www.lalegalpad.com/2008/07/class-action-pr.html

 

Pension Risk Matters discusses and provides links to a July 17 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois certifying a class for the purpose of adjudicating an ERISA claim for breach of fiduciary duty against fiduciaries of a 401(K) plan.  The entry also discusses new Department of Labor standards for disclosures of fees and expenses by fiduciaries of participant-directed individual account plans:

 

http://www.pensionriskmatters.com/2008/07/articles/litigation/class-action-certification-and-401k-fees/

 

California Blog of Appeal comments on the outcome of the “first ever habeas class-action in California”:

 

http://www.calblogofappeal.com/2008/07/23/a-habeas-class-action/

 

Drug and Device Law Blog highlights the case of a class action defendant down on its luck in a nationwide products liability class action in Oklahoma:

 

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/07/do-bad-things-come-in-threes-masquat-v.html

 

Classified highlights a recent Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision criticizing various aspects of a district court’s attorneys fee award in a successful class action brought under 28 U.S.C. 1983 on behalf of foster children in Georgia:

 

If you think Canadian class certification standards are lax (see below), check out this entry from Mass Tort Litigation Blog noting a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning a sua sponte class certification by the district court (the Ninth Circuit ordered a reassignment to a new judge on remand):

 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/07/ninth-circuit-o.html

 

Class Action Commentary

 

In his blog, Michael’s Insight, Insight Communications CEO Michael Wilner provides  a public response to comments made by a reader, Robb Topolski (see his blog here), who serves as plaintiff in putative class action litigation against a competitor regarding ISP network management practices:

 

http://www.michaelsinsight.com/2008/07/line-up-lawyers.html

 

Michael Alan Miller provides a brief commentary on which side is the lesser of evils in the rash of class action lawsuits he predicts will follow recent reports about a link between cell phones and brain cancer risk:

 

http://www.michaelalanmiller.com/?p=390

 

Class Action News

 

HeadwatersNews reports on a class certification motion filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and 11 other named plaintiffs seeking certification of a class of tribes for the purpose of pursuing claims for a complete and historical accounting by the United States Department of Interior of lands held in trust for the tribes:

 

http://www.headwatersnews.org/stories/view_story.phtml?id=53757

 

… and here is a more detailed commentary on the same case from Indianz.com:

 

http://www.indianz.com/News/2008/009961.asp

 

Wage Law Blog offers news on actions by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in response to the recent California Court of Appeal decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court.  (See ClassActionBlog entry here):

 

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/07/dlse-memo-instructs-enforcement-of-brinker-holding.html

 

Class Action Trends

 

The D&O Diary provides a summary and links to a NERA Economic Consulting report entitled “2008 Trends: Subprime and Auction Rate Cases Continue to Drive Filings, and Large Settlements Keep Averages High”:

 

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/07/articles/securities-litigation/nera-releases-midyear-2008-securities-litigation-report/

 

Infectious Greed remarks on statistics from the Stanford Securities Clearinghouse showing a 400% increase in subprime-related class action filings:

 

http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2008/07/29/first_thing_we.html

 

Class Action Reform

The Am Law Daily reports on a conference on securities class action reform co-sponsored by the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Chamber Institute for Litigation Reform (ILR) to discuss an ILR report on securities class action trends and proposed reforms.  (See related ClassActionBlog.com entry here):

 

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2008/07/us-chamber-of-c.html

 

International Class Action Law

 

Point of Law offers a review of an article entitled “Canadian Class Action Law: A Flawed Model for European Class Actions” by John Beisner, Allison Orr Larsen, and Karl Thompson, available at The Federalist Society Website.  The article argues that liberal class certification standards applicable in various Canadian provinces lead to unintended consequences and create a potential for abuse that should give European policymakers pause in looking to Canadian class action standards as a model for their own reforms…

 

http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/pubid.1100/pub_detail.asp

 

Point of Law observes that the loser pays rule may temper the possibility of abuse…

 

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/07/canadian-class.php

 

… but Canadian blog The Bizop News points to a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in arguing that the threshold for  class certification is only getting lower:

 

http://www.bizop.ca/blog2/lawsuits/pointoflawcom-pointoflaw-forum.html

 

Pom Talk addresses issues relating to whether non-U.S. investors may serve as lead plaintiffs or participate as class members in U.S. securities class actions:

 

http://www.pomtalk.com/pomtalk/2008/07/from-the-page-2.html

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Here are some blog entries from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

 

Class Action Decisions

 

The Complex Litigator has breaking news on a significant decision issued today by the California Court of Appeal reversing, on predominance grounds, a class certification order in a wage and hour class action involving claims for unpaid wages for hours worked during meal breaks.

 

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/07/breaking-news-m.html

 

CAFA Law Blog finds comparisons to Jeff Spicoli and Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High in a California federal court decision allowing discovery prior to a ruling on a motion to remand a class action removed under CAFA.

 

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-well-show-you-ours-if-you-show-us-yours-court-allows-preremand-discovery-to-support-amount-in-controversy-dispute.html

 

For a review of several recent federal decisions addressing CAFA issues, see this entry from The UCL Practitioner:

 

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/07/four-new-cafa-o.html

 

Class Action Defense Blog provides a thorough review of a recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision discussing the applicability of the excusable neglect standard in assessing a class member’s request to opt out of a class action settlement after the opt-out deadline.

 

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/07/class_action_defense_issuessil.html

 

North Carolina Appellate Blog reviews a recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision addressing the full faith and credit to be given the class certification decision of another state’s court (See last week’s CABWR for more on this decision from North Carolina Business Litigation Report).

 

http://womblencappellate.blogspot.com/2008/07/coa-holds-that-full-faith-and-credit.html

 

Mass Tort Litigation Blog discusses Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to grant review of class certification issues and due process issues relating to class certification of a breach of express warranty claim in a case filed against an automobile manufacturer for allegedly defective brakes…

 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/07/kia-class-actio.html

 

…and more on the same decision from Point of Law

 

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/07/pennsylvania-high-court-to-hea.php

 

Overlawyered summarizes an opinion highlighted in a New York Law Journal article published last week in which United States District Judge Jed Rakoff refused to appoint one of two named plaintiffs as a class representative on inadequacy grounds, stating that the would-be representative was merely a “pawn of counsel” and that he would “not be party to a sham.”  (But note that Judge Rakoff did grant certification as to the other class representative).

 

http://overlawyered.com/2008/07/mere-pawn-of-counsel/ 

http://overlawyered.com/2008/07/labaton-sucharow-rebuffed-again/

 

Class Action Trends

 

D&O Diary discusses the impact of the economic downturn as a cause of increased securities class action filings…

 

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/07/articles/securities-litigation/bad-economic-vibe-means-more-securities-litigation/

 

… and recent developments in issues relating to federal jurisdiction, removal, and remand of certain securities class actions.

 

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/07/articles/securities-litigation/section-11-lawsuits-coming-soon-to-a-state-court-near-you/

 

IP Finance comments on a recent Law.com article discussing potential trends in shareholder class actions spawned by patent disputes (see my commentary on this case here).

 

http://ipfinance.blogspot.com/2008/07/magma-security-class-action.html

 

Commentary

 

Class Reactions comments on a New York Times article discussing a class action filed on behalf of cruise ship passengers who purchased art at onboard auctions:

 

http://classreactions.com/?p=49

 

Wage Law offers commentary on another New York Times article about reports from the Government Accountability Office critical of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s performance and suggests that this poor performance in ensuring compliance has led workers to look to private attorneys for redress for wage and hour violations.

 

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/07/gao-sharply-criticizes-wage-and-hour-division.html

 

Central La. Politics responds to criticisms from a local radio personality on class actions against drug manufacturers:

 

http://centrallapolitics.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-ignorant-rant-from-ksyls-dave.html

 

Class Action Scandals

 

Point of Law provides an update on continuing fallout from the Dickie Scruggs bribery scandal:

 

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/07/more-scruggs-trouble-rigsby-br.php

 

Class Action Legislation and Reform

 

The Weekly Standard Blog addresses the highly publicized scandal involving Milberg Weiss attorney William Lerach and securities class action reform legislation proposed by Texas Senator John Cornyn entitled the Securities Litigation Attorney Accountability and Transparency Act (SLAATA).  (See my earlier commentary on the proposed bill here)

 

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2008/07/cornyn_takes_on_class_action_m.asp

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