Blog Archives

When Does a Defendant Have Standing to Challenge an Attorney Fee Award?

The class action has settled.  There is a possibility that a portion of the settlement fund, if otherwise unclaimed, will ultimately revert to the defendant.  Does this possibility give the defendant standing to object to class counsel’s fee award? According

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When Plaintiffs Fail to Plead the “Local Controversy” Exception to CAFA

A narrow exception to CAFA’s broad removal provisions is the “local controversy” exception, which prohibits removal in certain cases where the dispute is deemed sufficiently contained within the forum state that the interests of the state’s courts in adjudicating the

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CAFA Removal: A Second Bite at the Apple?

Until a couple of years ago, plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to keep their class actions in state court would frequently stipulate that they would not seek damages in excess of the $5 million CAFA threshold.  This practice fell by the wayside

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CAFA Removal Jurisdiction: Using a Plaintiff’s Complaint Against It

Most cases involving the existence of removal jurisdiction under CAFA involve the $5 million amount in controversy.  In a recent Third Circuit opinion, determining whether or not the putative class had the requisite 100 members proved equally complex.  The case

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“Buying Your Peace” in a Class Action Settlement

For defense attorneys negotiating class action settlements, a major consideration is ensuring that their client has indeed “bought its peace”—and won’t be facing follow-on litigation from plaintiffs who may not be bound by the class action settlement.  A recent Ninth

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Judge Posner’s Scathing Critique of a Proposed Coupon Settlement

The topic of potential self-dealing in class action settlements has been written about extensively.  While class counsel may be fully aligned with the class in seeking to maximize the settlement, their interests diverge sharply when it comes to determining the

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Third Circuit: Courts, Not Arbitrators, Decide Whether to Require Classwide Arbitration

Recent Supreme Court precedent has clearly reinforced the validity of contractual class action/arbitration waivers.  In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the Court made clear that class action waivers are enforceable, even if state common law would hold them unconscionable.   In American

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Third Circuit Ascertainability Rulings Continue to Imperil Low-End Consumer Class Actions

It’s a pattern repeated in millions of households every day:  you go to the grocery or the drug store, buy the items you need, and don’t bother to keep the receipt.  You may throw the receipt away immediately, you may throw

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Defeating the “Fail Safe” Class Definition

Some class action plaintiff lawyers facing individualized liability issues will try to obtain class certification by defining the proposed class in a way that assumes liability.  It’s somewhat akin to the baseball player who runs outside the baseline to avoid

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A Settlement That Gave Plaintiffs a Second Bite at the Apple

A class action settlement that allows the compensated plaintiffs to sue the defendant a second time for the same loss.  A settlement fund from which the defendant is permitted to compensate itself for settling such “second lawsuits.”  Hard to imagine? 

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