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Archive for the ‘CLE Programs’ Category

My promise to provide close-to-real-time updates of the Haifa conference was derailed by my lack of a Israeli power cord adapter to charge my laptop.  In truth, Israel mostly uses the same two-pronged circular plugs used throughout Europe, but I forgot adapters altogether, and it sounds better to say that I lacked a specific adaptor unique to one small country.  In any event, I now have to convert my combined typed and handwritten conference notes to a series of blogs in lieu of live-blogging.  

I will not attempt to give a detailed narrative of everything that was said during each presentation.  Instead, I’ll give you just a few of the highlights and insights I gained from each presentation.  What follows is the first installment.  You’ll observe that my notes became less detailed as the conference went on.  Please be assured that this is not a reflection of any diminishing quality in the content, but rather a symptom of my less-than-admirable work ethic.

But don’t fear, the conference was videotaped in its entirety, so very soon you’ll be able to enjoy all of the content as if you were there in person.  Check back for updates (but by now I’m sure you’ve learned, don’t hold your breath).  For now, you can find the conference materials here.

Panel 1: Class and collective redress – Global co-operation and developments

University of California Hastings Law Professor Richard Marcus introduced a theme that would resonate throughout the remainder of the conference: the idea of US-style class actions being the “Big Bad Wolf” of collective redress procedures, at least as viewed by many in other jurisdictions considering similar procedures.  Marcus focused his comments not only on how class action practice has been changing in the US in recent years, but also on the explosion of multi-district litigation over the past 15 years.

The remaining panelists gave updates on developments in collective actions in other jurisdictions, primarily civil law jurisdictions, juxtaposing those developments against the “Big Bad Wolf”.  Professor Astrid Stadler discussed competing proposals being considered for a collective redress regime in the European Union, one proposed by the EU commission, which would cover consumer law only, and a competing proposal from ELI/UNIDROIT, which would be a general procedure not limited by subject matter.  Both proposals would include a limited opt-out procedure, where non-parties to the litigation could be bound by the outcome unless they opt out, as opposed to having to do something affirmative to opt in to the litigation.

Dr. Albert Ruda discussed collective redress for the unauthorized use of personal data in social networks, particular to developments in Spain.  He discussed a particular pending case against Facebook arising out of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.  He noted that the case will be decided under an existing statutory and procedural framework that is untested and confusing.  The court has yet to decide whether the case should be allowed to proceed as a collective action.

Professor Ianika Tzankova next offered insights about developments in the Netherlands.  She pointed out that Dutch law provides for an interesting combination of typical civil law collective redress procedures but also includes a mechanism for settlement of mass disputes that allows for class action settlements similar to those available under US law.  She described a new Dutch collective action law that has recently been passed by the legislature but has not yet come into force.

Professor Claudia Lima Marques discussed the rise of “model” cases resolution and the fall of “class actions” in Brazil.  Brazil has an existing collective action procedure, but a recently enacted law calls for issues common to repetitive cases to be identified by the courts and treated as model cases and put on a fast track for resolution, where the decision in the model case becomes binding on other cases involving similar issues.  She noted that the current law does not give any priority for collective actions to be chosen as model cases, so the effect is often that an individual litigant’s case is chosen as a model while collective actions are stayed.  A bill to give collective actions priority as model cases has failed.

Finally, following up on the “Big Bad Wolf” theme, Professor Miguel Sousa Ferro described Portugal’s collective action procedures as a “sheep in hippy clothing. . . . We’re the Prozac pill telling everyone to chill.”  Portugal’s collective action laws, Sousa Ferro pointed out, are very easy to use with no significant impediments.  A “paradise” in other words, which is why it’s amazing that nobody uses it.  This led into a more serious discussion about why collective action procedures like Portugal’s are in existence but put to limited use.  Economic viability of a lawsuit, challenges to recovering costs, and the loser-pays rule are all impediments to bringing collective actions, even when the available procedures technically make them possible.

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My loyal readers (I’m being optimistic in using the plural form) will note that ClassActionBlawg.com has been inactive for the better part of a year.  With my current workload, I can’t promise significantly more content in the near future, but I did promise one loyal reader to provide some highlights from the University of Haifa’s 3rd International Conference on class actions.  I’ll be updating this post over the course of the next two days, so stay tuned…

Introduction

The conference began with a warm welcome to Haifa from Conference Co-Chair Dr. Rabeea Assy as well as introductory remarks from other conference organizers.  One highlight for me was a brief summary from City University of Hong Kong Dean Geraint Howells of recent developments in Asia.  Howells described developments in class and collective actions in Hong Kong, which he described as “on the agenda” but slow in starting.  He also provided updates on class and collective mechanisms in force in a variety of other Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and India.

Conference co-chair Dr. Ariel Flavian began his remarks with the point that the growth of global trade means more international scandals and a need for the development of new schemes for collective redress.  He then previewed recent developments in the EU, UK, Brazil, The Netherlands, the US, and elsewhere, which will be addressed in more detail throughout the conference.

 

 

 

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I’m very pleased to report that I will be moderating a panel on the use of statistics in class actions at the 3rd Annual International Conference on Dispute Resolution of Consumer Mass Disputes Collective Redress, Class Action, and ADR, sponsored by the University of Haifa in Haifa, Israel.  Our panel presentation will be just one of many excellent presentations on a variety of topics in the ever-evolving area of international class actions and collective redress.  The faculty includes titans of the bench and bar from a variety of jurisdictions, as well as top academic minds from universities around the world.  Registration is still open to attend this excellent conference in a beautiful venue.  Click the link below for more information:

https://lawers.club/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Agenda_compressed.pdf

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I’m proud to announce that I’ll be chairing the 5th Annual ABA Western Regional CLE on Class Actions and Mass Torts, scheduled for next Friday, June 22, 2018 at the offices of Clyde & Co. in San Francisco.  The program is co-sponsored by the Class Actions and Derivative Suits, Mass Torts, Consumer Litigation, Antitrust Litigation, and Securities Litigation Committees of the ABA Section of Litigation.  This year’s program covers a variety of timely class action-related topics, including ethics for those of you needing to fulfill your ethics CLE obligation.  For more information and to register, see the link below.  Hope to see you there!

https://shop.americanbar.org/ebus/ABAEventsCalendar/EventDetails.aspx?productId=327287675

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Next week, I’ll be presenting in webinars addressing two trendy topics in class actions.

Next Tuesday, January 23, at 1:00 PM EST, Brian Troyer of Thompson Hine in Cleveland and I will be reprising a Stafford Publications webinar titled Statistics in Class Certification and at Trial: Leveraging and Attacking Statistical Evidence.  For more information and to register, please visit this link to the Strafford Publications website.

The next day, Wednesday January 24, at 1:00 PM EST, my partners Melissa Seibert, Melinda McLellan and I will be presenting a BakerHostetler client Webinar titled Emerging Biometric Data Privacy Risks.  Among other things, that webinar will address trends in consumer and employment class actions involving unauthorized use or disclosure of biometric information.  For more information and to register, please visit this link to the BakerHostetler website.

 

 

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I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be chairing the Fourth Annual ABA Regional CLE Program on Class Actions and Mass Torts, to be held on June 16, 2017 at the offices of the Bar Association of San Francisco.  This year’s program features four presentations on hot topics in class action and mass tort litigation from an expert group of practitioners, academics, in-house counsel, and judges.  See below for summaries of the four presentations, and click the link below to see the full brochure and to register.  Hope to see you there!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Discovery Following the 2015 Federal Rules Amendments: What Does Proportionality Mean in the Class Action and Mass Tort Contexts?

It’s been about a year and a half since the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect, including amendments relating to proportionality governing both the scope discovery under Rule 26(b)(1) and preservation of potentially relevant ESI. But have the new rules changed the discovery available and relative obligations in class actions, mass torts, and other complex matters? This panel will review the purposes underlying the 2015 Amendments and how the law has been developing so far, and it will offer insights into best practices in expanding or limiting discovery in the class action and mass tort contexts.

Killer Class Actions or Endangered Species?

The United States Supreme Court has in recent years addressed an unprecedented number of issues related to class actions, ranging from “no injury” class actions to “trial by formula.” The panel of experienced class action practitioners will discuss the changing class action landscape and the potential lasting impact.

The Use of Expert Evidence in Class Actions: Effective Strategies and Pitfalls

The importance of expert testimony in class actions continues to increase, for example in connection with measuring class wide effects and satisfying class certification gate-keeping threshold questions. Topics to be discussed include 1) use of surveys in consumer class actions, when they are effective and how they can influence a case; 2) what can be learned from rare successful challenges about the utility of Daubert challenges in class action cases; 3) the challenges associated with the increasing technical requirements for class certification and implications of the importance of expert evidence on cases; 4) lessons learned and experience working with experts in class action matters.

Big Brother, Information Privacy, and Class Actions: How Big Data and Social Media are Changing the Class Action Landscape

Almost everyone has a smart phone these days, even your grandparents have social media accounts, and the amount of personal information that is generated about the average consumer on a daily basis is astronomical and growing exponentially. This panel will explore ways in which the emergence of big data and social media are impacting consumer class actions. Topics to be discussed include 1) consumer class actions that may arise from companies’ collection, use, or transfer of large amounts of consumer data; 2) changing attitudes on privacy of consumer data in the age of social media; and 3) the benefits and pitfalls of using social media and internet advertising in class action notice programs.

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I will be speaking on a webinar panel with plaintiffs’ attorneys Keith J. Keogh and John G. Watts tomorrow discussing the latest trends in TCPA class action litigation.  This is a reprise of a program we have done several times over the past few years, but we’ll be covering quite a few new developments this time around, including recent decisions on ascertainability, consent, mootness, standing, and the definition of an ATDS under the statute, as well as current and potential future FCC developments that may impact TCPA litigation in the future.

Click here to visit the Strafford website for more information and to register.

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