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

Pork Processing PlantAnother Term, another chance to gut class actions

If you've watched the Supreme Court over the last several years, you may have marveled at how earnestly some of the justices have worked to render Rule 23 a dead letter. Behold:

  • You have to arbitrate class claims individually. AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, 531 U.S. 321

A federal judge asked Blawgletter a few years ago what we thought about "cy pres" (sounds like "sigh pray") payments in class actions. The judge had in mind a method of dealing with money that a class settlement or judgment produces but that for one reason or another doesn't find its way into

DeBeers, the diamond behemoth, limited supply of and fixed prices on sparklies for years and years and in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.  But it sold to only a small group of outfits, none of which dared sue the font of their mercantile wealth.

That didn't stop indirect purchasers from bringing 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.