Year-end lists are funny things. They take a sort-of arbitrary starting and stopping point, and then they cram a bunch of prejudices into a (usually) arbitrary number of items. And then people take them kind of seriously. But they can be handy ways of catching trends one did not see before. And in a year
The Ten Most Significant Class Action Cases of 2013
2013 did not offer the blockbuster docket in front of the Supreme Court that 2011 did, but that didn’t stop the Court from issuing a number of opinions whose effects will be felt for some time to come. In addition, a number of other courts took bold steps to either support or constrain class…
Coupon Settlements Revisited – Feder v Frank
Just about anyone who owns a printer has strong opinions on toner cartridges. An enterprising group of plaintiffs’ lawyers sought to capitalize on consumer annoyance with printer cartridges by filing three class actions in the Northern District of California against toner manufacturer Hewlett Packard.
Their cases didn’t go so well. Some of the complaints…
CAFA Jurisdiction and the Entity Theory – Standard Fire Ins Co v. Knowles
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Standard Fire Insurance v. Knowles. The question the Court faced in this case was whether a plaintiff may avoid removal of a class action under CAFA by stipulating that the case is worth less than $5 million, the statutory amount-in-controversy requirement.
The Knowles opinion–which was…
A few brief lessons …
… from November’s cases so far:
- CAFA has not changed the rule that a counterclaim cannot confer federal jurisdiction. Resurgent Capital Servs., LP v. Thomason, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS (W.D. Mo. Nov. 5, 2012) (remanding case).
- Courts get suspicious when parties widen the scope of a class action during settlement negotiations. Smith
Complaints Still Matter – Pleadings, Primary Defendants, and Local Controversies
Daniel Villalpando sued three companies–Exel Direct, Inc., Deutsche Post DHL, and DHL Express (USA), Inc.—in California state court for underpaying him and drivers like him by misclassifying them as independent contractors. The defendants removed the case to the Northern District of California under the auspices of the Class Action Fairness Act. Mr. Villalpando moved…
Law Students on Knowles & Binding Stipulations
I haven’t commented much about the Supreme Court’s class action docket so far, largely because this year I was more focused on–in my own small way–trying to influence what it would be. But now that my particular efforts are done, I thought I would focus on each of the cases before the Court this Term.
Don’t Forget – Three quick takes from last week’s cases
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
Strategy Beats Tactics – Carter v. Allstate Ins. Co
Back in 1990, Kenneth Carter was in an automobile accident with an underinsured motorist, one serious enough to exhaust the other party’s limited bodily injury coverage. Carter’s policy allowed him to stack coverage, meaning he probably had $150,000 coming to him. But his insurer didn’t tell him that, instead allowing him to believe that he…
Does Virtual Gold Count Towards CAFA’s Amount in Controversy? Abreu v Slide Inc (ND Cal 2012)
For the tech savvy, virtual money is all the rage. It’s been the subject of a few science fiction/crime mashups by bestselling authors like Neal Stephenson and Charlie Stross. It even provides a thriving trade in various online games, one that has proved to be worth a fair amount of of real-world money.