Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2013

In what would have been bigger class action news yesterday had the Supreme Court not issued its decision in Amgen, the Court also heard oral argument in class arbitration case, American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12-133 (click case title for a link to the transcript).  The primary issue presented is whether the “federal substantive law of arbitrability” may be invoked to invalidate an arbitration agreement in a case involving federal law claims.  The case will test the limits of the Supreme Court’s holding in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011) (holding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws prohibiting class arbitration waivers). 

It is clear from the questions posed by the Justices that there are certain members of the Court (namely Justice Scalia, author of Concepcion) who remain steadfast in their belief that arbitration agreements that prohibit class claims are enforceable, period, and that there is another faction of the court that has serious doubts about the use of an arbitration agreement to effectively foreclose a litigant from obtaining any meaningful procedure for vindicating his or her rights.  Whether this case follows Concepcion in solidifying the enforceability of class arbitration waivers or carves out an exception will likely depend on a few swing votes in the middle.

Read Full Post »

The Supreme Court has issued its opinion in one of the most highly anticipated class action-related cases on the docket this term.  The result in Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, No. 11-1085, slip op. (U.S., Feb. 27, 2013) is not surprising given the content and tone of the questioning at oral argument.  In an 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Ginsberg, the Court held that the plaintiff in a securities fraud case based on a fraud-on-the-market theory of reliance does not have to prove materiality of the fraudulent statement or omission at the class certification stage.  Because materiality is a common question capable of resolution simultaneously for the entire class, the majority reasoned, it does not have to be proven at the class certification stage.  Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy dissented.

Amgen is an important decision in the securities fraud context because it addresses the lingering question of whether any special prerequisites exist in certifying a securities fraud class action that aren’t required in certifying other types of class actions.  Like the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton Co., 131 S. Ct. 2179 (2011), Amgen will probably have an impact beyond the securities fraud context.  In the context of class certification decisions more broadly, the opinion will be almost certainly be cited as clarifying the distinction between issues impacting the elements of class certification, which must be resolved at the class certification phase, and merits issues, which can wait until trial to be resolved.

Read Full Post »

The Baker Hostetler Privacy and Data Protection Team has published a comprehensive guide to the data privacy laws in countries around the world.  The International Compendium of Data Privacy Laws summarizes the civil, criminal, and regulatory data breach and other privacy laws of more than 40 countries.

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, the ALPS 411 Blog published my guest post titled I got this email about a class action.  What should I do?  Among other things, the post addresses how one goes about deciding whether an emailed class action notice is real or spam (or worse). 

For readers not familiar with the company, ALPS is an attorney liability insurer and financial services provider headquartered in my home state of Montana.  Be sure to check out the ALPS 411 Blog for excellent content relating to a host of topics of interest to attorneys, including ethics, malpractice, risk management, and general practice tips.

Read Full Post »

According to an article in the Korea JoongAng Daily, a Korean court has issued the first ever judgment in a collective action arising out of a data breach caused by alleged mismanagement of the data, as opposed to intentional conduct.  The Seoul Western District Court’s judgment in favor of 2,882 petitioners against SK Communications was for a total of approximately USD 534,200.   Although the amount may be insignificant by U.S. standards, the judgment reflects a key development in the development of both collective litigation and privacy law abroad.

Postscript: for more on the case, see this story published February 19.

Read Full Post »

I just received a tip about an intriguing Stanford University symposium that should be of interest to any readers interested in international class and collective action litigation. See below for the details.

Please join us for the
Stanford Journal of Complex Litigation’s Inaugural Symposium:

“Lessons from the Chevron Ecuador Litigation”

Friday, February 8, 2013
8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Room 290
Reception to Follow

The ongoing litigation between Chevron and the people of Lago Agrio, Ecuador regarding environmental harms raises unprecedented transnational litigation issues. Twenty years after it was filed, the Chevron Ecuador litigation now spans three continents and concerns an $18 billion dollar judgment against Chevron—the largest award in an environmental suit to date. Having been characterized as everything from “a shakedown” to “a landmark victory,” this case raises important questions about the future of transnational litigation. There have been significant developments in this case in the past week, as noted by the popular press. MCLE credit available.

This symposium will bring together the actual lead attorneys litigating the case as well as leading scholars to discuss the ethics, financing, discovery, and enforcement implications of the Chevron Ecuador litigation for transnational litigation going forward. The full schedule will be available here.

60 Minutes: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4988079n
New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/09/120109fa_fact_keefe

Registration is free, but please RSVP.

Please contact Anuja Thatte (athatte@stanford.edu) for further information.

Read Full Post »

On Monday, I summarized proposed Arizona class action reform legislation forwarded to me by Shawn Aiken of Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi P.C.  Yesterday, Aiken forwarded the final version of the class action bill as introduced before the Arizona Senate.

Click here for a copy of SB 1452.

Aiken also noted that there could be challenges to the legislative power to enact a new class action rule:

Our state constitution has many unique provisions. The one that will be invoked here is this: “The supreme court shall have . . . [the] [p]ower to make rules relative to all procedural matters in any court.”  Arizona Constitution, Article 6, Section 5.  The question will be what is more procedural than judicial certification of class actions?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »