Raleigh-based litigator Joan Dinsmore brings us a discussion of yet another memorable opinion by Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner.

Earlier this year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit refused to reconsider en banc its decision reversing certification of a class of glaucoma sufferers who claimed that eye drop containers dispense drops that are too large, forcing them to purchase eye drops more frequently. In so doing, the Seventh Circuit let stand a ruling in which Judge Richard Posner—aided by another of his now-infamous cat analogies—got frisky with the plaintiffs’ theory of liability, which he claimed was … Continue Reading

Ah, class decertification in district court…the rarely glimpsed, late-harvest victory that comparatively few class action defense counsel can claim to have tasted. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California recently delivered one such victory for the 2016 vintage, decertifying a plaintiff class he originally certified in 2012 in a wage-and-hour litigation against auto parts retailer AutoZone, Inc.  In the course of reaching that decision, Judge Breyer’s 49-page order also offers further insights into how the Supreme Court’s decisions in Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes are … Continue Reading

 Sometimes, a case will come along that illustrates clearly a number of the different strategic choices that lawyers have to make when defending class actions. In Lightfoot v. District of Columbia, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1983 (D.D.C. Jan. 10, 2011), a group of former District employees sued the District of Columbia, "challenging the policies and procedures that the District applied to terminate, suspend, and modify disability compensation benefits." (It appears they were largely represented by students at George Washington University, as well as lawyers from a prominent DC firm working pro bono.) Over the course of a decade of … Continue Reading