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Archive for July 20th, 2009

Not two full weeks after I invoked the “juridical link” doctrine as an example of one of the most obscure legal concepts I could think of  (see July 6, 2009 entry, In Defense of the Big Law Blog), a North Carolina Court has apparently applied the doctrine in allowing a class action to be brought against related defendants with whom the named plaintiff had no direct claim.  Mack Sperling of The North Carolina Business Litigation Report has a thorough synopsis of the case, Clark v. Alan Vester Auto Group, Inc. 

The juridical link doctrine developed as a rule allowing joinder of claims against related governmental actors, but plaintiffs sometimes try to invoke the doctrine as a mechanism to avoid the necessity of establishing separate standing to sue each of several defendants named in a class action.  Under the unique circumstances in Clark, where a group of defendants had the same owner, management, and accountant and shared a common computer system and common policies, employees, officers, and sales processes, among other common features, the argument was successful.  Other courts have declined to recognize the juridical link doctrine as an exception to standing, especially where there is no allegation of a conspiracy or concerted conduct between the defendants. 

For more discussion of the history and courts’ treatment of the juridical link doctrine as an exception to standing, see Fernandez v. Takata Seat Belts, Inc.,  108 P.3d 917 (Az. 2005).

For a list of words that rhyme with “juridical” see this link.

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