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Posts Tagged ‘class action blog’

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

 

Class Action Decisions

 

Summaries and commentary of class action case decisions highlighted this past week’s class action blog postings:

 

The Complex Litigator provides an analysis of a recent California Court of Appeal decision upholding a defendants’ motion to strike class allegations in a would-be class action prior to the plaintiffs filing a motion for class certification, including clarification of the procedural basis for the defendant’s request to “strike” the class allegations:

 

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/06/court-of-appeal.html

 

Drug and Device Law Blog offers a “short rant” critical of a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision holding that a “rigorous analysis inquiry” of class certification requirements is not required under Arkansas procedure:

 

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/07/arkansan-atrocity-general-motors-v.html

 

CAFA Law Blog is back with a CAFA removal case summary that hearkens us back to childhood and those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books (which I used to love even though I always seemed to end up with the bad ending).

 

http://www.cafalawblog.com/-case-summaries-defendant-tries-to-choose-its-own-adventure-and-remove-under-cafa-but-is-sent-back-down-to-state-court-anyway.html

 

Consumer Law & Policy Blog comments on a New Mexico Supreme Court decision prohibiting class action waivers in consumer agreements…

 

http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2008/06/new-mexico-supr.html

 

…more from Alabama Consumer Law Blog on the same decision...

 

http://www.alabamaconsumerlawblog.com/2008/06/another_court_strikes_down_cla.html

 

… and LegalNewsline.com provides commentary from the New Mexico Attorney General on the impact of the decision:

 

http://www.legalnewsline.com/news/213917-ag–says-court-decision-opens-the-door-for-class-action-against-dell

  

North Carolina Appellate Blog summarizes a recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision clarifying the burden of proving federal jurisdiction and other standards for removal under CAFA.

 

http://womblencappellate.blogspot.com/2008/06/fourth-circuit-clarifies-cafa-removal.html

 

Daily Kos summarizes the court’s ruling following a bench trial in a lawsuit filed by veterans’ groups against the Veteran’s Administration seeking reforms in health care and claims procedures for veterans (see my earlier commentary on characterizations of this case as a “class action” here and here):

 

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/26/132220/509

 

Wisblawg comments on the class certification decision in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Wisconson’s “diploma privilege” which allows in-state graduates to be admitted to the bar without taking the bar exam (see previous entries discussing this decision here and here):

 

http://www.law.wisc.edu/blogs/wisblawg/2008/06/wisconsin_diploma_privilege_su.html

 

Corporate Legal Times discusses a Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion in a class action claiming that a hospital’s practice of charging uninsured patients more than insured patients violated consumer protection laws.

 

http://www.cltmag.com/3rd-circuit-class-action-no-cure-for-uninsured-patients-bill.html

 

Subprime Mortgage Lawsuits

 

Busted: Bankers and the Digital Economy comments on a recent California federal court decision in a class action lawsuit filed under the Truth in Lending Act…

 

http://digitaleconomy.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/good-news-for-cheated-homeowners/

 

…commentary on the same case from LoanWorkout.org.

 

http://loanworkout.org/2008/07/mortgage-ruling-could-shock-us-banking-industry/

 

Class Action Trends

 

This seemed like a good week to highlight some excellent recurring features provided by other class action-related blogs.

 

The D&O Diary provides periodic updates of trends in securities lawsuit filings and related statistics:

 

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/06/articles/securities-litigation/midyear-2008-securities-lawsuit-filings-remain-up/ 

 

Class Action Defense Blog provides a weekly summary of the trends in class action filings in the California courts:

 

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/06/business_as_usual_labor_law_cl.html

 

Classified provides periodic summaries of class action news:

 

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=229

 

Class Action Scandals

 

One class action lawyer is sentenced…

 

The blogosphere was quick to react to the 5-year prison sentence of class action lawyer Dickie Scruggs for conspiracy to commit bribery

 

From Marianne M. Jennings:

 

http://www.mariannejennings.com/?p=47

 

From the NY Times Dealbook Blog:

 

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/class-action-lawyer-gets-5-years-in-bribery-case/

 

…while another is acquitted…

 

Letter of Apology reports that Melbourne Mills Jr., one of the three defendants in the Kentucky fen-phen wire fraud trial has been acquitted, while the jury continues deliberations over charges brought against two co-defendants:

 

http://letterofapology.com/2008/07/01/mills-acquitted-in-kentucky-fen-phen-case-jury-still-out-on-other-two-defendants/

  

Class Action Settlements

 

Overlawyered contributor Ted Frank recounts his appearance as an objector in the fairness hearing of a settlement involving the Grand Theft Auto video game…

 

http://overlawyered.com/2008/06/grand-theft-auto-class-action-the-argument/

 

…for more commentary from the settlement and a link to a New York Times article discussing the case, see this entry on Gamepolitics.com

 

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/06/25/ny-times-probes-legal-fees-hot-coffee-class-action-settlement

 

Class Action Legislation and Reform

 

Law and More provides commentary and an interview with attorney Joseph K. Hetrick comparing the mechanical and philosophical differences between the U.S. legal system and those in European countries, including predictions about European class action reforms.

 

http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2008/06/legal-systems-of-eu-uk-far-east-give-competitive-advantages-asserts-attorney-joseph-k-hetrick-of-dechert.html

 

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants has posted a bill being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide a federal cause of action for claims for benefits under Holocaust-era insurance policies.  The bill has a provision dealing with opt-out rights of claimants in pending or new class actions seeking benefits under Holocaust-era insurance policies.

 

http://www.americangathering.com/2008/06/29/3315/revised-hr-1746-as-marked-up-by-the-congressional-committee-on-finance-and-banking/ 

 

Class Action Cinema

 

Finally, films about class actions are highlighted in recent film review blog entries.  The Sweet Hereafter gets a 4-Star rating from Daily Film Dose

 

http://www.dailyfilmdose.com/2008/07/sweet-hereafter.html

 

…but North Country gets a mixed review from I Think Therefore I Review: 

 

http://ithinkthereforeireview.blogspot.com/2008/07/north-country.html

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Class action settlement issues provided fuel for commentary in the class action blogosphere this week, and there was still plenty of analysis and debate about the recent class action lawyer scandals.  Here are links to those and other blog postings that might be of interest to class action practitioners:

Class Action Settlements

Wage Law analyzes a series of recent decisions by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reluctantly approving a settlement in a wage and hour class action, ultimately granting final approval, but reducing the fee award requested by plaintiffs’ counsel.  The opinions offer a warning to both sides in making sure to tend to the details negotiating and implementing a class action settlement:

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/06/the-emerging-tr.html

Trial Ad Notes has an interesting discussion of a provision of the Washington State version of Rule 23 that requires that a portion of “residual funds” from class action settlements be paid to the state’s legal aid foundation.

http://trialadnotes.blogspot.com/2008/06/cy-pres-and-class-action-funds-in.html

Unusual Activity profiles a “professional objector” to class action settlements.

http://www.unusualactivity.com/2008/06/profile-of-a-pr.html

The D&O Diary comments on the social utility of a changes made to the terms in a settlement in a options backdating derivative action that reportedly was preliminarily approved last week after an earlier settlement had been rejected:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/06/articles/corporate-governance/restatements-clawbacks-and-cfo-career-consequences/

Class Action Scandals

Overlawyered offers a rebuttal to disgraced class action lawyer William Lerach’s recent essay “I am guilty.”

http://overlawyered.com/2008/06/rebutting-bill-lerach-in-portfolio/

See the full rebuttal article on Portfolio.com here…

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/06/16/Walter-Olson-Answers-Bill-Lerach 

…and the original essay here:

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/06/02/Bill-Lerach-Essay

WSJ Law Blog reports on the testimony of class action “guru” Stan Chesney in the trial of two Kentucky lawyers accused of wire fraud in connection with the settlement of a fen-phen diet drug class action.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/06/17/class-action-guru-stan-chesley-takes-stand-in-fen-phen-trial/

Letter of Apology reports on the settlement reached between class action firm Milberg Weiss and the Department of Justice to resolve various criminal charges arising out of illegal kickback schemes involving several of its former partners.

http://letterofapology.com/2008/06/17/milberg-settles-criminal-case/

Class Action Decisions

The Complex Litigator comments on recent California authority on shifting of the burden of proof in wage and hour class actions.

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/06/more-on-amaral.html

Technology Law Update discusses a recent class certification decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in a case filed against several online travel companies involving occupancy taxes.

http://brownraysman.typepad.com/technology_law_update/2008/06/texas-district.html

Virtually Perfect 3.0 discusses recent decisions on both class certification and the merits of a lawsuit filed under the Americans with Disability Act and several California laws against an online retailer for allegedly failing to make its Website accessible to the blind.

http://fritzboyle.edublogs.org/2008/06/11/legal-precedent-set-for-web-accessibility/

CAFA Issues

Classified offers multiple recent entries discussing CAFA (Class Action Fairness Act) removal decisions:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=220

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=219

How Appealing details a Seventh Circuit opinion authored by Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook on the proper interpretation of the time limitation for appealing remand orders under CAFA.

http://howappealing.law.com/061108.html#029130

Civil Procedure

SCOTUSBlog recaps a recent U.S. Supreme Court addressing complex sovereign immunity and FRCP 19 indispensable party issues in an interpleader action brought to resolve a dispute over assets attached by a class of human rights victims who had previously obtained a judgment against former Philippines President, Ferdinand Marcos where the same assets were also being claimed in a separate action under Philippine law by the Republic of the Philippines.  If you think that description is complicated, read the opinion!

http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/opinion-recap-republic-of-the-philippines-v-pimentel/

Class Action Defense Blog reviews a recent order of the Federal Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) granting a home lender’s motion centralization of related subprime class action lawsuits filed in various federal courts.

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/06/class_action_defense_casesin_r_96.html

Other Representative Actions

Mass Tort Litigation Blog and Drug and Device Law Blog review a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision addressing the concept of nonparty virtual representation:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/06/taylor-v-sturge.html

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/06/taylor-v-sturgell-on-virtual.html

Canadian Class Action Trends

thespec.com summarizes recent trends in Canadian class actions.

http://www.thespec.com/article/385060

The Bizop News discusses an unsuccessful Canadian class action in which the defendant was awarded a more than $200,000 in costs.

http://www.bizop.ca/blog2/canlii-2008-canlii-27822-on-sc.html

Class Action and Tort Reform

See these links for a spirited debate between the authors of American Courthouse and AttorneyButler.net about the merits of a proposed $1.6 billion tax break for lawyers who front expenses in contingent fee lawsuits.

http://americancourthouse.com/2008/06/05/a-16-billion-earmark-for-trial-lawyers.html

http://www.attorneybutler.net/2008/06/dan-pero-americ.html

and more on the news on the same proposed legislation from Point of Law:

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/06/tax-break-for-trial-lawyers-bl-1.php

Law and More offers an analysis on possible ways to combat mass food contamination, offering litigation, including “the threat of class-action, individual, and shareholder lawsuits” and the imposition of strict liability against manufacturers. 

http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2008/06/a-lawyers-perspective-on-global-food-poisoning—bill-marler-in-london.html

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It’s that time of the week already.  Here are some blog postings from the past week that might be of interest to class action practitioners. 

The fallout from several plaintiffs’ class action corruption scandals took center stage in the class action blogosphere this week.

Mass Tort Litigation Blog discusses the sentencing of plaintiffs’ class action lawyer Melvyn Weiss…

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/06/mel-weiss-recei.html

… and discusses a possible settlement involving his firm:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mass_tort_litigation/2008/06/milberg-llp-nea.html

See the many other blog entries discussing Mr. Weiss’ sentencing here:

http://www.sphere.com/search?q=sphereit:http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_watch/2008/06/if-kickbacks-ar.html

Class Reactions quotes a less-than-remourseful class action attorney William Lerach discussing his views on the social benefits of his acts of “fee-sharing” and his belief of the injustice of his imprisonment for those acts …

http://classreactions.com/?p=28

… and see Mr. Lerach’s essay entitled “I am Guilty (My Side of the Story)” at Conde Nast Portfolio.com:

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/06/02/Bill-Lerach-Essay

Overlawyered discusses developments in the Kentucky fen-phen settlement fraud scandal:

http://overlawyered.com/2008/06/another-victim-in-the-kentucky-fen-phen-settlement-fraud/

The Complex Litigator provides a critical review whether a recent California Court of Appeal decision addressing the California Song-Beverly Credit Card Act truly “limits” the scope of the Act’s protections of credit card holders:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/05/tjx-companies-i.html (responding to this entry in the Privacy Law Blog; also see a recent entry on the same case from Class Action Defense Blog here)

Class Action Defense Blog and Wage and Hour Blog both have summaries of a recent decision by the California Court of Appeal addressing alleged conflicts of interest by plaintiffs’ counsel and the named plaintiffs where the attorneys represented both individual class representatives and a labor organization interested in promoting union organizing efforts by class members:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/06/class_action_defense_casesshar.html

http://wagelaw.typepad.com/wage_law/2008/06/union-attorneys-can-represent-non-union-employees-in-wage-hour-class-actions.html

D&O Diary discusses potential insurance implications arising from cooperation given by former executive to plaintiffs’ counsel in a class action filed against the executive’s company (where the executive had previously pled guilty to criminal charges arising out of the same scandal):

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/05/articles/d-o-insurance/former-refco-ceo-aids-class-action-plaintiffsan-insurance-issue/

The UCL Practitioner has an interesting analysis of a press release issued by the San Francisco City Attorney regarding a public prosecutor’s UCL action being brought on behalf of the San Francisco Health Plan and other political subdivisions and California citizens.  The plaintiffs are reportedly being jointly represented by the City Attorney’s office and a private class action firm.

http://www.uclpractitioner.com/2008/05/san-francisco-c.html

Point of Law provides a link to a position paper by California Senator Tom Harman entitled “Incentivizing Appropriate Restitution in Class Action Cases.  (For a previous discussion on ClassActionBlawg.com regarding legislation proposed by Senator Harman, click here).

http://www.pointoflaw.com/archives/2008/06/state-senator-calls-for-tying.php

Classified provides a summary of a recent decision by the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Georgia dismissing a class action regarding “guaranteed auto protection insurance policies” due to the plaintiffs’ failure to provide notice of cancellation required under the policy:

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=215

Healthcare HR Solutions Blog comments on an increase in wage and hour class action litigation and provides tips on how employers can avoid potential Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) liability:

http://healthcarehrsolutions.com/blog/2008/05/29/increase-in-wage-and-hour-class-action-litigation/

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The Class Action Blogosphere Weekly Review is back on its regularly scheduled day this week.  As always, here are some blog entries that might be of interest to class action practitioners…

See Carlton Fields’ class action blog Classified for links to various news tidbits relating to class actions, including a summary of a bill recently passed in the United States House of Representatives that would amend the Fair and Accurate Transaction Act (FACTA) to, among other things, “ensure that it is not abused by frivolous class-action lawsuits against businesses.”

http://www.carltonfields.com/classactionblog/blog.aspx?entry=213

Class Action Defense Blog summarizes and provides a link to a transfer of venue decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York noting that the deference to be given to a plaintiff’s choice of forum is “diminished” in a class action:

http://classactiondefense.jmbm.com/2008/05/venue_class_action_defense_cas.html

The Complex Litigator comments on a recent entry in California Punitive Damages regarding an appeal that may affect punitive damages claims in wage and hour class actions:

http://www.thecomplexlitigator.com/2008/05/are-punitive-da.html

http://calpunitives.blogspot.com/2008/05/pending-appeal-will-affect-punitive.html

Drug and Device Law Blog provides an in-depth analysis of and a link to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Pew v. Cardarelli, No. 06-5703-mv, slip op. (2d Cir. May 13, 2008), which addresses the procedures for appellate review of remand orders in cases removed under the Class Action Fairness Act…

http://druganddevicelaw.blogspot.com/2008/05/cafa-intrigue.html

… and see more on the same decision from the Consumer Law & Policy Blog

http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2008/05/new-cafa-decisi.html

The D&O Diary continues to be the leading source of information on litigation arising out of the subprime mortgage crisis:

http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/05/articles/subprime-litigation/yes-but-the-subprime-litigation-wave-rolls-on/

How Appealing discusses a recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a large verdict in an antitrust class action:

http://howappealing.law.com/051508.html#033744

Federal Civil Practice Bulletin discusses a recent First Circuit Court of Appeals decision discussing the level of merits evaluation required (as opposed to allowed) at the class certification stage:

http://federalcivilpracticebulletin.blogspot.com/2008/05/first-circuit-discusses-degree-of.html

Elizabeth Cabraser submits entry as a guest blogger on ACSBlog regarding the use of class actions as a tool for change and social justice:

http://www.acsblog.org/guest-bloggers-class-actions-and-justice.html

Law and More comments on the Deutsche Telekom trial and the possibility that Germany may adopt an American-style class action model (see my earlier entry here)

http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2008/05/will-germany-wind-up-importing-american-style-class-action-lawsuits.html

Canadian blog FP Legal Post comments on recent competition class action decisions in the Canadian courts:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/legalpost/archive/2008/05/20/divisional-court-upholds-competition-class-action-certification.aspx

Startup Company Lawyer provides some practice tips for directors and officers on ways to minimize potential class action exposure resulting from the sale of a company:

http://www.startupcompanylawyer.com/2008/05/15/what-are-directors-duties-and-what-can-they-do-to-protect-themselves-in-a-sale-of-company/

Too Old to Know Better discusses a website allowing users to submit grievances for review by a consortium of plaintiffs’ class action lawyers (see my commentary on related topics here and here):

http://too-old-to-know-better.blogspot.com/2008/05/class-action-connect.html

A franchise lawyer provides his views on the use of the class action device in franchisee’s rights’ cases on Blue Maumau:

http://www.bluemaumau.org/my_personal_bias_foragainst_using_class_action_lawsuits

Sabal Insurance Group‘s blog summarizes a seminar addressing trends in shareholder class actions in the insurance industry:

http://sabalinsurance.blogspot.com/2008/05/insurers-told-to-monitor-class-action.html

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This site got a huge spike in page views today, thanks to a citation from a great website that I was not familiar with, www.LLRX.com.  A feature article published today on the site lists ClassActionBlawg.com among many online resources available for information regarding class action law.  Many thanks to LLRX.com for the link, and thanks also for tipping me off to the great online legal resource!

http://www.llrx.com/features/classactions.htm

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