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Archive for August 19th, 2008

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…

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