Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal Class Action Articles

The latest class action developments and trends in Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, including news, key cases, and strategies.

CAFA Jurisdiction: Cases Consolidated in California Cannot be Split by the Local Controversy Exception

Assuming its other requirements are satisfied, the local controversy exception to CAFA jurisdiction requires a district court to remand a class action if, during the three-year period preceding the filing of that action, another class action was filed asserting the same or similar factual allegations against any of the defendants on behalf of the same or other persons. But what happens when the class action, prior to its removal, was actually consolidated with the ... Keep Reading »

Fifth Circuit Holds Unaccepted Rule 68 Offer of Judgment Cannot Moot a Named Plaintiff’s Claim in a Putative Class Action

The defendant in a putative class action brought pursuant to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), 15 U.S.C. § 1693, et seq., tendered a Rule 68 offer of judgment to the named plaintiff before class certification briefing occurred. The defendant proposed to settle with the named plaintiff for the maximum allowable statutory damages for his individual claim, and to pay costs accrued and reasonable and necessary attorney fees, through the date of acceptance of the ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Affirms Approval of Class Action Coupon Settlement Despite “Clear Sailing” and “Kicker” Clauses and Potential Conflict of Interest

The Seventh Circuit affirmed a class action coupon settlement involving “clear sailing” and “kicker” clauses and a fee award based on the lodestar analysis rather than the value of the redeemed coupons, and notwithstanding a potential conflict of interest concerning the class, class counsel (Joseph Siprut), and one of the two representative plaintiffs (Adam Levitt, an attorney who served as co-counsel with Siprut in another class action). The plaintiffs asserted breach ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Cleans Up the Law; Holds Rule 68 Offer of Complete Relief Does Not Render Litigation Moot

In a case that began as a putative class action, the Seventh Circuit held that a Rule 68 offer of complete relief does not render litigation moot. Plaintiff in Chapman v. First Index filed a "junk-fax" suit pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. § 227 et seq., after allegedly receiving two unsolicited and unauthorized faxes from First Index. He demanded $3,000 plus an injunction under § 227(b)(3)(A). Plaintiff proposed to represent a class ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Petitioned for Rehearing En Banc to Determine Whether Data Breach Class Claims Survive Clapper, Satisfy Article III Standing Requirements

In January 2014, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus disclosed that it had suffered a cyberattack in which hackers may have gained access to 350,000 credit and debit cards used at its stores in late 2013. Plaintiffs, all of whom made credit or debit card purchases from the retailer during the relevant time period, filed a putative class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and all other customers whose card information may have been compromised.  Neiman Marcus moved to ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Doubles Down on “No Class Tolling” Rule

The Eleventh Circuit has doubled down on its prior holding that a pending class action will not toll the statute of limitations for a later class action seeking to represent the same class. Plaintiff brought a class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which carries a four-year statute of limitations. The state court granted summary judgment against plaintiff for lack of standing. A new plaintiff then sought to represent the class in ... Keep Reading »

Seventh Circuit Applies “Weak” Ascertainability Requirement, Splits From Third and Eleventh Circuits

A panel from the Seventh Circuit split from the Third and Eleventh Circuits and rejected what it described to be a “heightened” ascertainability requirement under Rule 23(b)(3). In Mullins v. Direct Digital, LLC, plaintiff filed a class action complaint alleging that defendant had misrepresented, in marketing materials and on product labels, the purported health benefits of a glucosamine supplement in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Holds Rule 23 Trumps State Law Precluding Private Class Actions

The Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act’s (ADTPA) restriction on private class actions does not apply in federal court. Federal Rule 23 controls. That’s what the Eleventh Circuit recently held, relying on Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co., 559 U.S. 393, 130 S. Ct. 1431, 176 L.Ed.2d 311 (2010). Plaintiff contracted for installation of a wood fence. The manufacturer warranted that the wood was treated and would remain free from rot, ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Finds Local Controversy Exception to CAFA

The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of a class action and instructed the district court to remand the case to state court, based on the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). In doing so, it held that a post-removal amended complaint may be considered to determine whether remand is appropriate. A group of Nevada citizens sued six separate entities in Nevada state court for illegal debt collection practices. After removal, the ... Keep Reading »

Eighth Circuit Affirms Denial of “Predominance” Class: The Long Arm of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act Does Not Reach Wholly Out-of-State Conduct

In 2012, California resident Ronald Perras brought suit in federal district court against H&R Block and its affiliates (H&R), which are headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Perras alleged that H&R violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) by charging its customers compliance fees in excess of H&R’s actual cost of complying with new federal regulations. Perras sought to define a class of all persons in all states except Missouri who had ... Keep Reading »