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Archive for May, 2009

According to this story from the CBC News, a class action has been filed against the Canadian Province of Manitoba for its policies in issuing and prosecuting photo radar speeding tickets near construction areas.  The complaint alleges that the government violated the law by not placing signs properly to mark reduced speed zones and by attempting to enforce reduced speed requirements even when no workers were present.  Some have argued that the program was an illicit attempt to bolster government coffers, pointing to the fact that photo radar tickets in Manitoba increased from 3,000 to 60,000 from 2007 to 2008.

Following earlier rulings in cases arising from the issuance of the tickets themselves, the government was reportedly removing the photo radar devices, canceling tickets,  and now it appears to be considering giving refunds to those who paid the fines.

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The Securities and Class Actions subsections of the Colorado Bar Association litigation are co-sponsoring a half-day CLE in connection with CLE Colorado, to be held the morning of July 24 at the CBA offices in Denver.

The seminar will examine trends in litigation arising out of the current economic crisis in three key areas: securities, ERISA, and consumer class actions.  I’ll post more information and a link to registration information as it becomes available.

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The latest issue of the Federalist Society’s Class Action Watch is now up and available on the organization’s website.  Thanks to Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP, for the tip.  A synopsis of Maniloff’s own contribution to the issue, from the author himself, appears below.  Other interesting topics covered in the issue include trends in mortgage-backed securities litigation, application of CAFA to attorney general actions, “concealed defect” class  actions, an analysis of the future of RICO class actions, an analysis of the Third Circuit’s standard of review analysis in In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation, and a review of the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Morrison on “foreign cubed” securities class actions.

Below is a link to “Fifth Circuit Expands False Claims Act Qui Tam Provisions in Time for Debate over Stimulus Package Fraud,” an article that I published in the May issue of The Federalist Society’s Class Action Watch.

On February 17, the Fifth Circuit addressed a qui tam suit in the context of Hurricane Katrina insurance issues and made it easier for such suits to be filed. The court observed that the potential for fraud exists in any government program, especially where mass amounts of federal funds are expended in emergency and less-controlled conditions.

Coincidentally, eerily so, also on February 17, President Obama signed into law The Stimulus Package. There may be no greater example than the Stimulus Package of mass amounts of federal funds being expended in emergency and less-controlled conditions.

The attached article examines the Stimulus Package, and the Fifth Circuit’s recent expansion of the ability of plaintiffs to file a qui tam suit, and concludes that the ingredients are in place for fraud in the implementation of Stimulus Package programs, followed by qui tam suits under the False Claims Act to address such fraud.

http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/pubid.1341/pub_detail.asp

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