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Are absent members of an uncertified class or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action “parties” and thus “represented” by plaintiff’s counsel? If so, is defense counsel prohibited from speaking with absent class members? At first glance, the answer would appear to be no, for two reasons. First, “a nonnamed class member is [not] a party to the class-action litigation before the class is certified.” Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, 568 U.S. 588, 593…
What constitutes an autodialer or “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is in flux. Under the statute, an “automatic telephone dialing system” is defined as “equipment that has the capacity” to “store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator,” and “to dial such numbers.” 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(1).…
What constitutes an autodialer or “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is in flux. Under the statute, an “automatic telephone dialing system” is defined as “equipment that has the capacity” to “store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator,” and “to dial such numbers.” 47 U.S.C. § 227(a)(1).…
In Comcast v. Behrend, 569 U.S. 27 (2013), the United States Supreme Court clarified the requirements for establishing that classwide injury and damages predominate over individual issues for the purposes of FRCP 23(b)(3). In particular, where a party relies on a damages model to establish predominance, the model must be consistent with the theory of liability and “measure those damages attributable to that theory.” Id. at 35. A defendant may challenge the damages model to…
A recent order from the Northern District of Illinois granted a defendant’s motion to deny class certification regarding “unsolicited” fax advertisements allegedly sent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The decision is notable in two respects. First, the court held that the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision in Bais Yaakov of Spring Valley v. FCC, 852 F.3d 1078 (D.C. Cir. 2017), which struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rule requiring opt-out notices…
Retailers offering online, telephone or catalog purchases may want to review the shipping fees charged to their customers in the wake of several class actions recently filed in California. Multiple retailers have been hit with consumer class actions challenging their shipping fees as exceeding the actual shipping costs incurred by retailers in fulfilling customer orders. These cases typically rely on Article 11 of the Data and Marketing Association’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice, which…
On May 15, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Midland Funding, LLC v. Johnson, 581 U.S. ___ (2017) in which it held that filing an “obviously time-barred” proof of claim in a bankruptcy proceeding does not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The facts of Midland Funding are fairly straightforward. The respondent filed for personal bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code (Code). Midland, the petitioner, filed a…
On Jan. 3, in Briseno v. Conagra Foods, Inc., Case No. 15-55727, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 does not require class representatives to demonstrate that there is an “administratively feasible” means of identifying absent class members in order to certify a class. In rejecting the “administrative feasibility” requirement, the Ninth Circuit joins the Seventh Circuit, which has come to the same conclusion. (See some of our recent…
This blog post is the second in a series of posts that Baker & Hostetler LLP is devoting to the significant decision Robins v. Spokeo, No. 13-1339, 537 U.S. ___ (2016) (Spokeo). Monday’s post focused on Spokeo’s effect on privacy class actions and big data. Today’s post focuses on the decision’s impact on class actions. On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Spokeo. In the 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court…
Relying on “basic principles of contract law,” the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that an unaccepted settlement offer and offer of judgment under Rule 68 are “legal nullit[ies]” that have no effect on whether a live controversy remains between the parties. Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857. The upshot of the Court’s decision is that a defendant cannot moot a putative class action by merely offering full relief to the named plaintiff on his…