The Madoff Ponzi scheme had far-reaching impact. How far? At least as far as Ireland and Luxembourg, each of which produced a number of plaintiffs in Trezziova v. Kohn (2d Cir. Sep. 17, 2013). In Trezziova, investors in a number of funds (the Thema International Fund PLC [], the Herald LUX Fund, and the Primeo Select Fund and Primeo Executive Funds) sued those funds (and their managing banks and investment firms) for placing money with the notorious Bernie Madoff.

While many of their countrymen were filing suit (and dealing with liquidators) in Ireland and Luxembourg, … Continue Reading

Today’s case, Thatcher v. Hanover Insurance Group (8th Cir. 2011) is another short one that nonetheless raises important issues for class action defendants. Allen Thatcher (or, rather, his attorneys) filed a class-action complaint in Arkansas state court against his insurance company. He alleged that the defendants did not pay insureds properly under the terms of their insurance policies. (The specifics had to do with insurance for general contractors.) And he alleged the standard wide spectrum of claims: unjust enrichment, fraud, constructive fraud, and breach of contract.

It’s what happened next that makes the case really interesting.  The defendants removed the … Continue Reading

 Paul Karlsgodt of got there first (in a post that should win "Title of the Month" hands-down), but Judge Posner’s opinion yesterday denying rehearing (and announcing there will be no en banc rehearing) in Thorogood v. Sears Roebuck & Co. is still worth an extra post.  Not just because Judge Posner discusses the results of an informal poll of the panel’s wives, not just because he cites a YouTube link of Simon Cowell, and not just because the ever-irreverent Above the Law is likely to feature the opinion as a classic benchslap.    

The primary … Continue Reading

Followers of this blog have probably noted (and probably with some chagrin) that I rarely discuss just-released cases, because I’m more interested in what we can learn about the strategies in a case than breaking the latest legal news. This case, though, is different, because last week the Eleventh Circuit released an opinion on jurisdiction under the Class Acton Fairness Act (CAFA) that is baffling in large part because it ignores the ways in which parties actually litigate a class action.

In the recently-decided Cappuccitti v. DirecTV (11th Cir. Jul. 19, 2010), the Eleventh Circuit dismissed a class action … Continue Reading

Multi-district litigation is becoming more and more common in class actions, and has added another strategic dimension to the cases.

For plaintiffs it adds the question of which law firm should lead the consolidated litigation.
 And, as should be clear by now, that is no small question for plaintiffs.

But the other issue it complicates–for both sides–is forum-shopping. Forum-shopping tends to be unavoidable in class-action litigation.  For plaintiffs, forum-shopping usually involves choosing the best possible mix of favorable law, favorable judges, favorable demographics, and potential interference from other plaintiffs’ firms. [For a fuller discussion of the … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court issued an opinion in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates v. Allstate Insurance Company yesterday.

The case stemmed from a class action that had been filed in New York state. The class action arose after a woman was injured in a car accident. She was treated by Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates (the plaintiff). To pay for the treatment, the woman assigned her insurance benefits to Sahdy Grove. Shady Grove submitted the claim, but Allstate paid it late, and did not pay the required 2% interest on the overdue benefits. So Shady Grove filed a class action on behalf of … Continue Reading