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Posts Tagged ‘class action blog’

I’ve been meaning to post a link to a new class action-related blog authored by my law partner, Deborah Renner.  Deborah is as knowledgeable about class actions as anyone I know, and she’s always up on the latest trends.  She has a background that uniquely pairs the practical and academic aspects of class actions, having taught class action law at Fordham Law School in addition to her many years as a class action defense litigator.  Deborah is primary editor of the firm’s blog, Class Action Lawsuit Defense, but she also recently launched her own personal blog, Renner on Class Actions, where she offers astute insights and in-depth analysis into a variety of class action issues and trends.  Be sure to check it out.

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To you, my very, very loyal reader (I have in mind a picture of Flight of the Conchords superfan, Mel, who by the way has her own blog):

If you really have been waiting in anticipation for this post, you really should consider therapy.  However, when I began my extended hiatus in June, I did promise to resume blogging this fall, and I am a man of my word.  That, and my life has recently returned to some semblance of normalcy after I had two nationwide class actions go away in a two-week period.

So, the time has come to start blogging about the exciting world of class action litigation once again.  I’m in the process of dusting off the cobwebs, and you should expect to see some real content over the next few days.  I have even managed to attract a guest contributor.  So, if you weren’t on the edge of your seat before, you should be now.  Stay tuned…

Yours truly,

Paul Karlsgodt

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Andrew J. Trask (twitterfeed: @classstrategist) of the international law firm, McGuire Woods, has a great new legal blog called Class Action Countermeasures.   The blog’s tagline is “Discussions of the Strategic Considerations Involved in Class Action Defense,” and it definitely lives up to that promise.  Here’s just a sample of the titles of insightful articles published on the blog over the past month:

  • Making the 30(b)(6) Deposition Work for You
  • Fighting Fishing Expeditions, The Oppenheimer Relevance Objection
  • Beating Plaintiffs to the Punch, The Motion to Deny Class Certification
  • Battling Third Party Litigation Funding: Aim Interrogatories at Funding Sources?

I’m adding Class Action Countermeasures to my blogroll and will be checking it for updates regularly, so opposing counsel, beware!

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In another I must be living under a rock moment, for the first time this evening I came across Octagon Publishing’s Class Action Attorney Fee Digest Blawg.  The Blawg, which supplements Octagon’s subscription service, Class Action Attorney Fee Digest, focuses exclusively on orders, decisions, and trends in attorneys’  fee awards in class actions.  The publication’s key contributor is Harvard Law Professor William B. Rubenstein, who does expert witness work on class action fee issues.  If you’re about to submit a fee petition or are working on a class action settlement, you’d be wise to check out this great class action resource.

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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

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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

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

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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 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

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