A busy travel and work schedule this week means that today, I’m just going to point you to three cases with lessons class-action lawyers should be aware of.  So, when defending your class actions, don’t forget:

  • When removing under CAFA, pay attention to continuing damages.  In Leslie v. Conesco Life Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130508 (S.D. Fla. Sep. 13, 2012), the Southern District of Florida was willing to count continuing damages up through the projected trial date in determining whether the plaintiff met the $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement. 
  • Plaintiffs must prove arbitration would be too expensive.  In Lowry v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128907 (N.D. Ohio Sep. 11, 2012), the plaintiffs offered an estimate from an economist to argue that they could only vindicate their rights through a class action, but the court found the proffer "insufficient," and compelled arbitration.  

  • Sometimes, you can sway a court to stay litigation by describing the costs involved in proceeding.  In Blixseth v. Cushman & Wakefield of Colorado, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128977 (D. Colo. Sep. 11, 2012), the defendants faced the usual problem: they had moved to dismiss the case, but the plaintiff wanted to push ahead with expensive discovery.  When the defendants moved to stay discovery, the court noted that the plaintiff offered no good reason other than "public interest" to proceed, but also observed that "Plaintiff’s 85-page complaint alleges nine causes of action and, based on the allegations, the case will likely involve discovery of thousands of documents."  So it granted the motion to stay.