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.

Circuit Courts Address Impact of Arbitration Agreements on Labor Class and Collective Actions

In Conners v. Gusano's Chicago Style Pizzeria, plaintiffs, former employees of defendant, brought a collective action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Defendant responded by implementing a binding arbitration policy on current employees that specifically prevented current employees from joining plaintiffs in the collective action. The district court enjoined defendant from enforcing the arbitration agreement as to any current employees who chose to ... Keep Reading »

GCs facing more bet-the-company and higher exposure class actions

Across industries, companies spent $2 billion on class action lawsuits in 2014, slightly less than the $2.1 billion they spent in 2013. This year, spending is expected to return to 2013 levels. Companies’ class action dockets increased on average by one new case in 2014, bringing the average number of class actions managed to five. This total is expected to remain constant in 2015, as the number of new matters is likely to be offset by those resolved. As before, ... Keep Reading »

Second Circuit Vacates Class Certification Order, Applying Various State’s Laws Precludes Finding Of Predominance And Superiority

The Second Circuit vacated a class certification order issued by the Southern District of New York, finding that Rule 23(b)(3)'s predominance and superiority requirements could not be met given the necessity of applying 27 states' laws to putative class claims for breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice and breach of contract. The case involved a "novel approach to dispute resolution that continues to provoke a debate among experts in legal ethics." The plaintiffs ... Keep Reading »

Fifth Circuit Affirms Certification of Electronic Funds Transfer Act Class

In a case similar to its late-2014 decision in Mabary v. Home Town Bank, N.A., 771 F.3d 820 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed certification of a class of consumers who were charged a fee for using an automated teller machine (“ATM “) that allegedly lacked a fee notice on its exterior, in violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1693b(d)(3) (2011).  See Frey v. First Nat. Bank Southwest, No. 13–10375, --- F. App’x ---, 2015 ... Keep Reading »

Eleventh Circuit Holds That Defendant Cannot Be Precluded From Asserting Its Arbitration Rights Against Future Class Members

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that a district court lacked jurisdiction to determine, pre-certification, that a defendant’s waiver of its right to compel named plaintiffs to arbitrate their claims precluded it from asserting its arbitration rights against putative unnamed class members. The case involved five putative class actions against the defendant bank and its predecessor related to allegedly improper checking account overdraft fees. Plaintiffs’ customer ... Keep Reading »

Circuit Court Holds Comcast Does Not Foreclose Certification of Labor Law Class With Individualized Damages

In a class action brought under the Fair Labor Standard Act and New York Labor Law, the Second Circuit court of appeals reversed the district court’s denial of class certification and held that the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend does not overrule the established principle that “the fact that damages may have to be ascertained on an individual basis is not sufficient to defeat class certification under Rule 23(b)(3).” Plaintiff alleged that ... Keep Reading »

Second Circuit Affirms Certification of Consumer Debt Collection Class, Distinguishing Comcast v. Behrend

These cases, on a consolidated appeal, involved three defendants: a company that purchased consumer debts, a debt collection law firm, and a process server. Plaintiffs had each been sued in various debt collection actions by defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants obtained default judgments against them fraudulently by using a “default judgment mill,” whereby defendants would purchase the debt, issue summonses and complaints en masse, and automatically generate ... Keep Reading »

Sixth Circuit Rejects Rule 23(F) Petition: Comcast Not Necessarily Triggered By Antitrust Class’s Use Of A Single Damages Model For Multiple Theories Of Liability

In an antitrust class action lawsuit, multiple theories of liability often create separable anticompetitive effects that, when combined, can result in aggregated damages, but a plaintiff's model must measure damages attributable only to the liability theory (and resulting anticompetitive effects) accepted for class action treatment.  Thus, an antitrust lawsuit involving money damages cannot be certified to proceed as a class action unless the damages sought result from ... Keep Reading »

Eighth Circuit Decertifies Four FDCPA Classes Where District Court Failed to Conduct Rigorous Analysis Required by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes

The Eighth Circuit recently held that a district court abused its discretion by certifying four classes of Nebraska consumers in an action against a debt collector and its attorneys for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act (“NCPA”) based on the defendants’ use of standard-form pleadings and discovery requests in state court collection actions.  In so holding, the Eighth Circuit emphasized that the ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Issues Companion Cases Addressing Evidence Required To Show That The Amount In Controversy Requirement Has Been Met When Challenged on Removal

Through a pair of opinions issued the same day, the Ninth Circuit attempted to clarify the evidence required for a defendant to meet its burden of showing that the amount in controversy exceeds CAFA’s $5 million threshold when a plaintiff moves to remand.  In the first opinion, Ibarra v. Manheim Investments, Inc., the plaintiff filed suit in state court seeking to represent a class of employees allegedly injured by the defendant’s "pattern and practice of failing to pay ... Keep Reading »