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Archive for December 17th, 2008

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

Top Stories that Are Hopefully Not Indicative of Class Action Trends

Overlawyered reports on a courtroom fistfight between two lawyers pursuing rival class action suits against the same defendant:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/12/new-orleans-brawl-between-class-action-lawyers/

Class Action Decisions

How Appealing summarizes and links to an opinion by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that a class action counterclaim defendant could not remove to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (as an aside, yours truly was on the losing end of the Ninth Circuit decision relied upon by the majority.  Sorry Mayer Brown et al. for helping to create bad precedent):

http://howappealing.law.com/121708.html#031686

Securities Docket offers a synopsis of a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the dismissal of a securities fraud class action under the “strong inference” of wrongful intent standard required by the Supreme Court’s decision in Tellabs:

http://www.securitiesdocket.com/2008/12/15/fourth-circuit-affirms-dismissal-of-securities-class-action-against-inspire-pharmaceuticals/

Online Dating Newsletter reports on a federal court’s decision denying a motion for summary judgment filed by an online dating service defending claims that it continued to charge fees after members had canceled their service:

http://www.onlinedatingnewsletter.com/datingnews/truecomclassactionlawsuit/

Corporate Legal Times has a story about an an Iowa federal court’s class certification decision, with the self-explanatory headline “Class Action Status Doesn’t Stick to Teflon Lawsuits” …

http://www.cltmag.com/class-action-status-doesnt-stick-to-teflon-lawsuits.html

… and more on the same case from InjuryBoard.com and South Florida Lawyers:

http://www.injuryboard.com/national-news/teflon-lawsuits-won39t-become-class-action.aspx?googleid=253196

http://southfloridalawyers.blogspot.com/2008/12/teflon-class-action-up-in-flames.html

Wage Law reviews a recent California appellate decision addressing the standards for what evidence a trial court must consider in evaluating the fairness of a class action settlement: 

http://www.californiawagelaw.com/wage_law/2008/12/kullar-v-foot-locker—reversal-of-class-action-settlement-approval.html

The Race to the Bottom analyzes a New York court’s grant of summary judgment in a shareholder class action alleging that a forced bank merger constituted a breach of fiduciary duty:

http://www.theracetothebottom.org/home/bear-stearns-the-shotgun-merger-and-fiduciary-duties.html

Class Action Trends

As always, for the latest developments in subprime crisis litigation, see the D&O Diary

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/12/articles/subprime-litigation/subprime-securities-suit-against-bank-dismissed-without-prejudice/

… and for more commentary and analysis on trends in subprime mortgage litigation, see this December 3 entry from Mortgage Meltdown:

http://mortgagemeltdown.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/12/securities-fraud-lawsuit-against-countrywide.html

Class Action News

The Complex Litigatorreports on upcoming administrative changes in the Los Angeles County Complex Litigation Court (Btw, congrats to Scott Leviant on his new position with Initiative Legal Group LLP):

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/12/management-changes-coming-to-complex-litigation-court-in-los-angeles-county.html

The Memphis Daily Newsreports on developments in a potential class action lawsuit being considered by the City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee against lenders for alleged predatory lending practices leading to mass foreclosures in connection with subprime mortgages:

http://memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=39942

Spam Notes has an update on procedings on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a class action involving federal preemption of claims brought under the California anti-spam statute and other state laws:

http://spamnotes.com/2008/12/16/kleffman-v-vonage–no-oral-argument.aspx

Drug and Device Law provides an update on amendments to Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Counsel guidelines on what a company must disclose about securities class action and other litigation:

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/12/amending-fas-5-update.html

Class Action Conferences

Class Action Defense Blog and CAFA Law Blog comment on an upcoming conference sponsored by the American Finance Institute on consumer finance class actions and litigation to be held in New York in late January:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/12/mark_your_calendars_class_acti_6.html

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-events-making-your-list-checking-it-twice-if-so-make-sure-this-outstanding-seminar-is-on-it.html

Class Action Commentary

www.InvestmentFraudPRO argues that FINRA securities fraud arbitration can often be a better approach for victims of investment fraud to recoup their losses than class action lawsuits:

http://investmentfraudpro.blogspot.com/2008/12/finra-securities-arbitration-or-class.html

FP Legal Post predicts that class actions against cell phone companies based on concealment of studies linking cell technology to brain cancer may be the next wave of litigation in Canada:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/legalpost/archive/2008/12/15/cellphones-newest-bonanza-for-class-action-bar.aspx

Mass Tort Litigation Blog discusses a recent BNA Reports commentary on CAFA’s Local Class Action Exception:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/12/cafas-local-cla.html

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Legal Blog Watch has a new post from Robert J. Ambrogi up today summarizing the latest edition of the American Tort Reform Association‘s annual “Judicial Hellholes” rankings for 2008-09 (see the link on the executive summary page for the full report).  Class action lawyers won’t be too surprised by the “honorees” on this year’s list.  One item of note was that Madison County, Illinois, once the standardbearer for “judicial hellholes” has stayed off the list for the second year in a row, although it’s still on the organization’s “watch list.”

I found the comments to Ambrogi’s post interesting.  One commenter questioned whether it was appropriate for Law.com to be endorsing the views of such a “radical corporate propaganda machine” as the ATRA (Legal Blog Watch is part of the Law.com Legal Blog Network).  This prompted a response from another reader that the article was appropriate in the spirit of fostering healthy debate and that the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA) is viewed by some as being just as radical as the ATRA.  I’m not going to weigh in on that dispute, but I will be checking back to see whether Legal Blog Watch ever publishes an AAJ “generous dispensers of recompense” list.

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