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Class Action Involving Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage: Illinois Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss In Case Alleging Illusory Coverage

Do insurance companies charge premiums for coverage that can never be triggered?  That is the essential allegation in Keeling v. Esurance Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26998 (S.D. Ill. Mar. 1, 2012).  In my October 4, 2011 blog post, I wrote about a Seventh Circuit decision finding federal jurisdiction in this case, based on … Continue Reading

Is Notice Required to Bind Absent Class Members Under Rule 23(b)(2)? Federal Circuit Says Yes In Case Involving Judicial Salaries

The Federal Circuit recently held that individual notice to absent class members is required to bind them to a judgment in a class action certified under Rule 23(b)(2), at least where the claims are monetary in nature.  This case is particularly significant for a defendant faced with a class action that has been certified under … Continue Reading

The Apex Doctrine on Depositions of High-Level Executives: New DRI Article Provides Insights

This month’s For the Defense magazine published by the Defense Research Institute has an interesting article by Christopher M. Tauro and Kip J. Adams entitled “Use of the Apex Doctrine.”  The article has a comprehensive survey of the law regarding protecting high-level corporate executives from unnecessary depositions, where the executive has little or no knowledge … Continue Reading

Decertification Likely Has Binding Effect, But Can Defendants Give a Denial of Certification the Same Effect?

A recent opinion by the Western District of Pennsylvania reminded me of an interesting wrinkle of class action law:  the decertification of a class that was previously certified typically has binding impact on the class members, preventing further attempts to seek certification of the same or a similar proposed class.  But as we know from … Continue Reading

Trial of Class Actions With Statistical Evidence: California Court of Appeal Follows Wal-Mart v. Dukes In Rejecting “Trial By Formula”

Issues regarding the use of statistical evidence at trial of a class action were recently addressed by the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, in Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 107 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 6, 2012).  The court concludes that the trial of an employment class action (seeking … Continue Reading

Can You “Pick Off” A Named Plaintiff To Moot A Class Action? New Seventh Circuit and Federal Circuit Decisions Address This Issue

One tactic some defendants have tried to use in defending a class action is providing or offering to the named plaintiff the full relief requested on his or her individual claim.  Typically a named plaintiff’s individual claim in a class action is worth a relatively small sum, much smaller than the costs of defending the … Continue Reading

Can a Voluntary Dismissal And Re-Filing Avoid the Class Action Fairness Act? Eighth Circuit Says No, Where A Defendant Has Answered

One strategy some plaintiffs’ attorneys have used to try to avoid federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) is to voluntarily dismiss a case after it has been removed to federal court, and then re-file a new complaint in state court with amended allegations framed in a way that will bar federal jurisdiction.  … Continue Reading

Using Rule 11 in Defending a Frivolous Class Action

A recent decision by the District of Minnesota provides an interesting roadmap for how defendants can use Rule 11 in defending against a frivolous class action.  In Brown v. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101038 (D. Minn. Sept. 7, 2011), the plaintiff filed a putative class action complaint alleging purported racial discrimination.  … Continue Reading