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.

Ninth Circuit Holds Defendant Can Remove Within 30-Days After CAFA Grounds Are Ascertained, Even Where Complaint Provided Basis For Federal Question Removal

A Ninth Circuit panel has held that a defendant may remove a case to federal court within 30 days after the CAFA ground for removal can first be ascertained, even where plaintiff's complaint, filed years earlier, provided a basis for removal based on federal question jurisdiction. On April 3, 2012, plaintiff filed her initial complaint against Nationstar in state court, alleging various causes of action, including a federal cause of action under the Fair Debt ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Holds That State Court’s Class Certification Order Creates New Occasion for CAFA Removal

The Ninth Circuit held that a state court's certification order, under which CAFA's amount in controversy would be met, created a new basis for defendant to remove the case to federal court. The plaintiff had filed a putative class action against Dollar Tree in California Superior Court alleging violations of the California Labor Code and California Business and Professions Code, Section 17200, based on Dollar Tree's purported failure to provide required paid rest breaks ... Keep Reading »

Ninth Circuit Reverses Order Striking Class Allegations in Microsoft Xbox Case

The Ninth Circuit reversed an order striking class allegations against Microsoft reasoning that the Washington district court misapplied its precedent and thereby abused its discretion. Plaintiffs alleged that a design defect in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console made it unable to withstand vibrations during normal game playing conditions and caused game discs to become scratched and unplayable. Microsoft countered that the majority of Xbox units do not manifest the ... Keep Reading »

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 »