Late last year, the Eleventh Circuit ruled on the preclusive effect of a state-certified class action in federal court. The Federalist Society very kindly asked me to comment on it for their online journal Engage. It turned out to be a really interesting project, because what started out as an opinion about preclusion turned out to be more about the nature of commonality. Here’s a quick preview of the argument:
While at first glance Brown addresses the preclusive effect of the Engle class action, the real question the Eleventh Circuit wrestled with was the scope of Rule 23(b)(3)’s predominance inquiry. Neither the Middle District of Florida nor the Eleventh Circuit refused on principle to apply the findings of the Florida jury; instead, they found themselves unable to apply those findings because they lacked enough facts to understand what issues the jury had actually (or necessarily) decided.
You can head on over to the Engage website to read the rest.