Archives: Class Certification

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Court Rejects Pseudo-Expert Reports and Refuses to Certify Off-the-Clock Case

Off-the-clock cases involving call centers have been in vogue for a number of years despite lingering issues regarding whether they can truly be resolved on a class-wide basis.  A recent case from the District of Maryland, Faust v. Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC, Civil Action No. WMN-10-2336 (July 15, 2014), suggests that they cannot.  Further, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Eases Path Toward Class Certification of Independent Contractor Misclassification Claims

Managing independent contractor relationships requires a delicate balance, perhaps best described (unknowingly, of course) by the band .38 Special in the song “Hold On Loosely”: Just hold on loosely But don’t let go If you cling too tightly You’re gonna lose control Maintaining too much control causes the loss of control.  And so it goes … Continue Reading

Interns Win One, Lose One, In Having Misclassification Cases Conditionally Certified In New York

There has been a great deal of coverage involving litigation by interns against various media and entertainment companies in New York.  We won’t recount the many articles, blogs, and discussions about this issue.  If you need a quick summary of the law, the U.S. Department of Labor, in its Fact Sheet # 71, sets forth … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court (!) Issues Strong Pro-Defense Wage and Hour Class Action Decision

“Depending on the nature of the claimed exemption and the facts of a particular case, a misclassification claim has the potential to raise numerous individual questions that may be difficult, or even impossible, to litigate on a classwide basis.” “[T]rial courts deciding whether to certify a class must consider not just whether common questions exist, … Continue Reading

Moldy Washing Machines at the Supreme Court: A Platform for Further Development of Rule 23?

Co-Authored By: Dustin M. Dow Three cases about moldy washing machines currently sit at the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for their names to be called.  The cases are nearly identical consumer products class actions, and they have enormous potential to shape the parameters of class action jurisprudence—if only they could get their day in court. … Continue Reading

California Courts Deny Certification In Wage and Hour Cases Based On Claim That Employer “Should Have Known” Of Unpaid Time

Back in October, we reviewed a number of California cases that, for the most part, denied certification in cases in which certification would have largely been a foregone conclusion only a few years ago.  The first few days of 2014 have been quiet on the class action front so far, so let’s review a few … Continue Reading

Cullen v. State Farm – The Ohio Supreme Court Returns to Rule 23 Issues

This blog post was co-authored by: Patrick T. Lewis, Michael D. Meuti and Robert J. Tucker On November 5, 2013, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted the class certification principles announced in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes and Comcast v. Behrend.  In Cullen v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. … Continue Reading

New York District Court Denies Certification and Conditional Certification of Class of Personal Bankers

One can only imagine the outcome the plaintiffs’ attorneys were anticipating:  a case against the financial industry, involving non-exempt employees subject to an auto-deduct policy for meal periods, in the Southern District of New York.  It seems like a laundry list of many types of claims that have been certified, and they no doubt expected … Continue Reading

Stammco, L.L.C. v. United Tel. Co. of Ohio, Addressing Rule 23 Requirements for Class Certification in Ohio

After eight years and two visits, the Ohio Supreme Court has issued an opinion that not only addresses key developments in federal class action jurisprudence, but also decided the underlying class certification question.  The resulting opinion will have a major impact on Ohio class action law in all substantive areas, but will certainly impact employment … Continue Reading

Domino’s Pizza Drivers Fail to Deliver Common Circumstances to the Eighth Circuit

Authored by: Ericka Spears Despite their work uniforms and company cars, pizza delivery drivers do not have much in common (at least according to the Eighth Circuit). Recently, in Luiken v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. 12-1216, 2013 WL 399248 (8th Cir. Feb. 4, 2013), the court found that a purported class of 1600 Domino’s Pizza … Continue Reading

Court Denies Conditional Certification of Class of Debt Collectors

If someone with too much time on their hands tried to catalogue all of the decisions regarding conditional certification of proposed FLSA class actions, they would likely find that while plaintiffs prevail at this stage more likely than not, the employer’s chances improve either when (1) the claims are for off-the-clock time; or (2) the … Continue Reading

Comcast Oral Argument Raises Interesting Questions Surrounding the Application of Daubert to Class Certification

On November 5, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Comcast Corporation v. Behrend, No. 11-864 which arose from an action brought by Philadelphia cable subscribers alleging that Comcast monopolized Philadelphia’s cable market and excluded competition in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-2.  Transcript of the … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Tolling and Finds Claims by Former Dukes Class Member Time-Barred

There are, perhaps, few topics as boring as the issue of whether and under what circumstances a pending class action will toll the statute of limitations for absent class members.  But that issue has a real-life impact as reflected in a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. … Continue Reading

Arkansas and California District Courts Deny Conditional Certification of Proposed FLSA Collective Class

Courts routinely note the lighter burden of proof for conditional certification of FLSA cases, but oftentimes seem to allow certification based on little or no proof at all.  A recent case from the Eastern District of Arkansas reflects that at least some courts will hold the plaintiff to that lesser evidentiary standard. In Farnsworth v. … Continue Reading

Comcast Corporation Appeal Will Permit Justices to Examine Class Certification issues Post-Wal-Mart v. Dukes

On June 25, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide “[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the . . . class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis.” See Court’s Proceedings and Orders. This … Continue Reading

Conditional Certification Of Assistant Manager Overtime Class Denied…..For Now

No “One-And-Done” Rule For FLSA Collective Actions Perhaps it’s a tad unrealistic, but here’s hoping that John Calipari’s one-and-done recruiting strategies start influencing FLSA jurisprudence now that he’s finally won a national championship. From an employer’s perspective, it’s hard to tell whether the recent denial of conditional certification in Jenkins v. The TJX Companies is … Continue Reading

Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action Against IBM

We’ve commented before that employers defending collective actions under the FLSA generally fare far better on a motion to decertify than one for conditional certification, and a recent case reflects that fact.  In Seward v. International Business Machine Corp.pdf., Case No. 08-CV-3976 (S.D. N.Y.,  March 9, 2012), the plaintiffs sought to represent a class of … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court’s Harris Decision May Become a Helpful Tool in Defeating Class Certification–Or Maybe it Won’t

An Irritable Pessimist’s View of a Welcome Decision After several years of waiting, the California Supreme Court handed down its long-anticipated decision in Harris v. Superior Court last week. Given the natural-born suspicion held by management-side lawyers toward anything that wanders its way out of the wilderness that is the California courts, it probably comes as … Continue Reading

New Jersey Court Denies Certification of Large Sex Discrimination Class in Light of Dukes

In Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), the Supreme Court held that it was error to certify a class of 1.6 million women alleging sex discrimination in employment. But what about a smaller, yet still enormous class? In Bell v. Lockheed Martin Corp., Case No. 08-6292 (RBK/AMD) (Dec. 14, 2011), the … Continue Reading
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