imageClass action skeptics

Since 2011, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court has made class actions harder to bring and tougher to sustain.

In the current term, the Court’s quintet of class action skeptics — Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas — may use a pair of cases in which it has heard arguments to all but doom wide swaths of class cases altogether.

I write not to address those cases but to explain why even if the threats they pose prove non-fatal, the reprieve may not last. Two other petitions for review on the Court’s docket pose existential threats almost as potent.
Continue Reading The Next Death Threat to Class Actions

On Nov. 4, Chief Justice John Roberts attached a "statement" to the Court's long list of orders in which it mainly denied review with respect to dozens and dozens of cases.

The statement related to something the Court hasn't addressed before — a challenge to a class action settlement that featured "cy pres" relief. 


1998-134-4_newSnappy reclines. The Empire State Building looms in the mid-distance. Bitey consults his notes. He clears his throat.

Bitey:    The U.S. Supreme Court's summer break started last week, Snaps, and the time has come for us to look at the . . . uh . . . results of the 2012-13 Term for those commercial cases

The U.S. Supreme Court today reversed a Second Circuit ruling that upheld the right of New York to bar class actions seeking penalties under Empire State law.  The decision failed to net a majority, and as a result you'll need to study closely the concurrence and dissent to see what the Court actually said.  

The Supreme Court of Texas voted 5-3 today to decertify a class action.  The class representative, a company that audits telephone bills and seeks refunds for customers, alleged on behalf of a Texas class that Southwestern Bell overcharged by collecting municipal fees it did not have to pay.  The majority held that the assignee couldn't adequately represent the