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Archive for August 13th, 2008

I thought that it was about time to give the site layout a bit of an overhaul, so I decided to change to a new WordPress theme.  The new Mistylook theme has several nice features that the previous one lacked, including better positioned RSS feed buttons, a Comment RSS feed link and Trackback URI link at the end of each post (right click and view “Properties” to see the Trackback address), and a cleaner overall look.  Any comments on the new look would be welcome.

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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

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