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Posts Tagged ‘Class Action News’

I’m pleased to announce that the BakerHostetler Class Action Defense Team has just released its 2012 Year-end Review of Class Actions, a joint project with the firm’s Employment Class Actions, Antitrust, and Data Privacy practice teams.  See below for a synopsis of the project.  Click the link above to access a copy of the report itself:

We are pleased to share with you the BakerHostetler 2012 Year-end Review of Class Actions, which offers a summary of some of the key developments in class action litigation during the past year. Class action litigation continues to persist in all areas of civil litigation despite the Supreme Court’s 2011 decisions in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, which were seen by many commentators as marking the beginning of the end of class actions as we know them. But while the Supreme Court’s 2011 decisions have had a significant impact on class action litigation, they have not brought about its demise and are not likely to do so anytime soon. In the last two years, we’ve seen landmark decisions and the addition of important judicial gloss to those decisions. 2013 will be no different as the Supreme Court is set to weigh in on a series of key cases this spring.

We hope you find this Review a useful tool as you move forward into the new year. This comprehensive analysis of last year’s developments in class action procedure and jurisdiction, as well as developments by subject matter will hopefully provide context and insight as you look ahead to 2013’s expected trends in class action law, including the proliferation of privacy class action litigation and class action litigation relating to the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal.

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For those readers who may be dissatisfied with my somewhat uneven coverage of all things class action lately, here’s a reminder about a great source for the latest in class action news and trends: the ABA’s Class Actions and Derivative Suits (CADS) Committee Group Page on LinkedIn.  CADS membership is free to all ABA Section of Litigation members.  Participation in the LinkedIn group is a benefit to all CADS members.  For more information on how to join CADS, click here.  For the LinkedIn Group, click here

Some highlights of the content available on the LinkedIn page:

  • A summary of the recent oral argument before the United States Supreme Court in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles
  • Coverage of a recent 7th Circuit decision discussing whether misconduct by putative class counsel requires denial of class certification.
  • Links to articles authored by members in other publications or blogs.
  • Announcements about upcoming CADS events.

And much more…

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Not really.  I just had to vent.

Try typing the phrase “class action” into a Google news search on any given day and you’ll find hundreds of catchy headlines like:

  • Blue Sky Mining Company Hit with Class Action Suit Over Deplorable Work Conditions
  • Dewey Cheatham & Howe Announces Major Class Action Against Quickie Mart Stores
  • Class Action Could Bring the Widget Industry to its Knees
  • Law Offices of Atticus Finch Files Class Action Against Radley, Inc.
  • Class Action Accuses Blogger of Defamation for Complaining About Class Action Press Releases, …

… You get the idea.

To the casual observer, many of these dramatic headlines might sound like real news, rather than a plaintiffs’ firm with a good SEO consultant supplementing its latest complaint with a press release in order to drum up publicity for its filing.  The truth is, any yahoo with a law license can file a “class action” complaint.  But the case doesn’t become a class action until the judge certifies a class, and the mere filing of a lawsuit is a far cry from a determination that the case has any merit.  Some of these complaints may actually become “major” class actions, but the fact that they seem to accompany every filing where the plaintiff seeks to represent a class makes it almost impossible to distinguish the truly meaningful cases from those that you’ll never hear about again.

I’m sure a good plaintiffs’ lawyer could come up with an eloquent explanation for why it is necessary to treat each new case as the story of the century.  It could be driven by a desire for publicity, a belief in the righteousness of the cause, or even a means of defending a firm’s turf against possible rivals.  Whatever the reason, to someone searching for meaningful class action news, having to sift through the countless case announcements can be more than irritating.

Maybe some day the search engines will come up with some kind of filter to separate out the press releases from real news.  Then again, if it was so easy to find class action-related news, would there be any need to visit ClassActionBlawg.com?

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I finally found a few moments the other day to organize the teetering stack of professional journals, magazines, and flyers that had been piling up in my inbox.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the most recent issue of the ABA Commercial & Business Litigation section’s Winter newsletter is a collection of articles focusing on class action issues.  The compelling list of titles include “What to Tell a Panicked Client about Class Actions,” “CAFA and its Impact on Class Action Litigation,” “The ‘Holistic’ Approach to Scienter under Tellabs,” “Alternative Privilege Log Techniques in an E-discovery World,” and Recent Rulings Limit Plaintiffs’ Choice of Forum Tactics.”

http://www.abanet.org/litigation/committees/commercial/newsletter.html

Speaking of class-action related materials, here are some good print publications focusing on class actions:

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I’m still on the road with plans to return to Denver later today, but in the interest of keeping the loyal reader completely up to date on the latest in class action news, here are a couple of quick items:

This Vancouver Sun article summarizes a NERA Consulting report on trends in securities class action litigation continues to rise in Canada.

The Scranton Times Tribune reports that class action lawsuits are being “mulled” by a nonprofit organization and a trial lawyer in the wake of a kickback scandal involving two juvenile court judges.  For related news, see this Overlawyered entry, Class action law firm announces “investigation.”

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

Class Action-Related Post of the Week

Debbie Schlussel does not think too much of a class action settlement offering “victims” free makeup and perfume that the named plaintiffs’ claimed cosmetics companies cheated them out of in an alleged price-fixing scheme.  She offers this entertaining rant about the case, the settlement, and the legal system in general: 

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/2009/01/forget_the_o-na.html

Welcome to the Class Action Blogosphere

Class action defense lawyer and Skadden Arps partner J Russell Jackson is making waves in the class action blogosphere with a new blog aptly called Jackson on Consumer Class Actions & Mass Torts.  Here’s a recent entry summarizing a Massachusetts federal court’s decision not to give collateral estoppel effect to a state court’s class certification order:

http://www.consumerclassactionsmasstorts.com/2009/01/articles/nuisance/federal-court-refuses-to-give-collateral-estoppel-effect-to-state-court-class-certification-order/

Class Action Decisions

The UCL Practitioner summarizes a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to enforce a forum selection clause that would have required that California consumer protection claims be litigated in Virginia, a state without a class action procedure:

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2009/01/ninth-circuit-refuses-to-enforce-forum-selection-clause-in-uclclra-case-ramkissoon-v-aol-llc.html

Class Action Defense Blog reviews a Missouri appellate court decision upholding a trial court’s order striking down the waiver portion of a class arbitration waiver and compelling arbitration.

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2009/01/_class_action_defense_caseswoo.html

CAFA Law Blog cites a New Jersey federal court’s decision in offering practical advice on when it might be appropriate to ask a court to render a decision on whether federal jurisdiction was appropriate under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA):

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-party-tells-judge-hurry-up-and-rule-on-cafa-jurisdiction-judge-tells-party-hurry-up-and-produce-some-evidence.html

Spam Notes analyzes a Louisiana federal court’s decision dismissing a variety of different state and federal claims in a privacy class action involving allegations of a breach of private information when tax returns were left in a dumpster:

http://spamnotes.com/2009/01/15/federal-judge-rejects-privacy-class-action-against-hewitt-tax-services.aspx

Wage Law summarizes a California Court of Appeal decision reversing a denial of class certification on ascertainability of class membership grounds:

http://www.californiawagelaw.com/wage_law/2009/01/medrazo-cert-denial-reversed.html

Class Action Trends

Drug and Device Law Blog offers an abstract of and link to an article co-authored by one of its contributors, Mark Hermann, entitled: “Making Class Actions Work: The Untapped Potential of the Internet,” 69 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 727 (2008).

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2009/01/using-internet-to-improve-class-actions.html

Classified offers periodic posts with class action-related news and trends, including a link to an article from CCH Wall Street reporting on a rise in Securities class actions.

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=249

http://www1.cchwallstreet.com/ws-portal/content/news/container.jsp?fn=01-13-09

See this January 23 Point of Law entry for an abstract an article by James Cox, Randall Thomas and Lynn Bai entitled “Do Differences in Pleading Standards Cause Forum Shopping in Securities Class Actions?”

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2009/01/do-differences.php

Class Action News

The D&O Diary reports on recent events related to several high profile subprime-related class actions and securities scandals:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2009/01/articles/subprime-litigation/the-bofamerrill-deal-losses-disclosures-and-lawsuits/

The Complex Litigator provides an update on proceedings before the California Supreme Court in the wage and hour class action Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2009/01/view-the-opening-brief-submitted-in-brinker-restaurant-v-superior-court.html

Gabe’s Guide to the e-Discovery Universe has breaking news an a highly publicized scandal involving the CEO of an Indian security company that has become the target of several class actions:

http://gabesguide.com/?p=2309

Class Action Cinema?

Securities Docketshowcases a new video produced by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society entitled “The Rise and Fall of Bill Lerach.”

http://www.securitiesdocket.com/2009/01/21/video-the-rise-and-fall-of-bill-lerach/

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CABWR is finally back after a three week holiday hiatus!  Here are some blog posts from the week that was that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Decisions

CAFA Law Blog discusses a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision addressing jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) before reversing class certification in a case alleging violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA):

Class Action Defense Blog summarizes a California appellate court decision reversing a trial court’s decision to deny certification after concluding that it would be necessary to make a determination on the merits to ascertain class members and evaluate numerosity:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2009/01/class_action_defense_cases_gha.html

Classified comments on a Florida decision upholding a class certification order where the lack of a hearing transcript left the appellate court with no way to analyze the evidence considered by the trial court in reaching its decision:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=246

Folo comments on an opinion by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, who has some harsh words for attorneys for objectors to a class action settlement who sought an attorney fee award for what the Judge did not consider a significant contribution to the outcome of the case:

http://www.folo.us/2008/12/30/this-case-is-finito/

The UCL Practitioner summarizes a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision discussing the removability under CAFA of securities class actions filed under section 22(a) of the Securities Act of 1933:

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2009/01/7th-circuit-makes-it-harder-for-plaintiffs-to-keep-securities-class-actions-in-state-court.html

Class Action Trends

Drug and Device Law Blog discusses the phenomena of “global coordinating counsel” and its rise from marketing ploy to reality as class action and related procedures become more developed around the world:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-meaning-of-global-coordinating.html

Mass Tort Litigation Blog discusses the “multi-faceted” nature of mass tort litigation in an article that includes a discussion of federal judge Jack Weinstein treating MDL litigation and settlement of pharmaceutical products liability claims as a “quasi-class action”:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2009/01/todays-14-billi.html

Securities Docket summarizes a Manhattan Institute report on a trend in Louisiana public pension funds serving as lead plaintiffs in securities class actions:

http://www.securitiesdocket.com/2008/12/28/manhattan-institute-finds-la-pension-funds-most-active-lead-plaintiffs-in-securities-cases/

The D&O Diary summarizes the year in securities litigation from 2008…

http://www.dandodiary.com/2009/01/articles/securities-litigation/a-closer-look-at-the-2008-securities-lawsuits/

… and The Race to the Bottom offers observations about the modest nature of the increase in securities class actions in light of the financial crisis:

http://www.theracetothebottom.org/home/the-trend-in-securities-class-action-lawsuits.html

The Daily Insurer discusses a recent report by Seyfert Shaw LLP summarizing trends in employment class action litigation:

http://dailyinsurer.blogspot.com/2009/01/class-action-litigation-analyzed-in-new.html

Class Action Commentary

Point of Law provides an abstract of a student note by James McDonald in Duke Law Journal entitled “Milberg’s Monopoly: Restoring Honesty and Competition to the Plaintiffs’ Bar”:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2009/01/milbergs-monopo.php

Wage Law discusses claims-made settlements and reversions in wage and hour class actions and whether unclaimed funds escheat to the state:

http://www.californiawagelaw.com/wage_law/2009/01/more-on-reversions-and-claims-made-settlements.html

Pro Football Talk comments on the facts of a class action filed on behalf of retired players against the NFL Players’ Association for for breach of fiduciary duty, which was recently tried to a jury verdict in the retirees’ favor:

http://www.profootballtalk.com/2009/01/13/ruling-in-nflpa-class-action-sheds-light-on-what-the-union-did-allegedly-to-retired-players/

Class Action News

The Complex Litigator reports on the California Supreme Court’s decision to grant review in the wage and hour class action Brinkley v. Public Storage, Inc., Sup. Ct. Case No. S168806:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2009/01/breaking-news-review-granted-in-brinkley-v-public-storage-inc.html

Class Action Previews. Predictions, and Hopes for 2009

North Carolina Business Litigation Report previews the year ahead for the North Carolina Business Court, including a discussion of class actions:

http://www.ncbusinesslitigationreport.com/2009/01/articles/watching-the-court/the-year-ahead-in-the-north-carolina-business-court/

New look Overlawyered has a post proposing a good idea for a consumer class action that it’s author predicts will be filed by some plaintiffs’ firm in 2009:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/12/a-prediction-for-2009/

Law and More has hopes for “juicy corporate class action litigation” in 2009:

http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2009/01/needed-juicy-corporate-classaction-litigation.html

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