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Are Defendants Required To Create Datasets to Respond to Discovery Requests in Class Actions?

Discovery disputes in class actions often focus on plaintiffs’ requests for computer data regarding putative class members’ claims, and how far defendants need to go in providing such data. An Illinois federal court recently addressed this in an employment class action. The key takeaways from this opinion are that: (1) a defendant was not required … Continue Reading

Insights From FDCC Program On December 2015 Amendments To Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Last week, I attended an excellent program of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel regarding how the December 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are impacting the defense of class actions and other complex litigation. (For a summary of the amendments pertinent to class action practice, see my November 20 blog … Continue Reading

Predictive Coding: Insights from Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Annual Meeting

At the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) annual meeting, I recently attended an excellent program on predictive coding presented by Howard Merten of Partridge, Snow & Hahn in Providence, RI, Matt Nelson of Symantec, and Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck of the Southern District of New York (who has written a leading article and … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: Potential Impact on Class Actions

A recent article in Corporate Counsel and an EpsteinBeckerGreen client alert report that the federal courts’ Advisory Committee on Civil Rules has voted to recommend a slate of amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  A copy of the proposed amendments does not yet appear to be available online.  As reported in these articles, … Continue Reading

Insights from the ABA National Institute on E-Discovery – Part 2

Here is the second installment of insights I gleaned from the ABA National Institute on E-Discovery:  Federal Rules Amendment Process:  Judge Koeltl of the Southern District of New York led a panel that provided a thorough update on potential amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Consideration is being given to making the proportionality … Continue Reading

Insights from the ABA National Institute on E-Discovery – Part 1

Last week I attended the ABA National Institute on E-Discovery in New York.  Here is part one of my summary of some key insights from the conference:  Use of Social Media by Company Employees:  When companies allow their employees to access social media websites from corporate computers and information regarding company business is posted on … Continue Reading

Recent Property & Casualty Class Action Decisions – Part Two

Here is the second installment of my summaries of significant recent P&C class action decisions:  Seabron v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41451 (D. Colo. Mar. 27, 2012):  This is a relatively rare written opinion on several discovery issues that often arise in insurance class actions. The court resolves a dispute … Continue Reading

Apex Deposition Doctrine: New Decision By West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

I recently posted about a new article in the Defense Research Institute’s For the Defense publication, addressing the apex doctrine, in which courts have placed limits on depositions of senior executives of corporations and high-ranking government officials.  Shortly after publishing that post, I came across a new decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of … Continue Reading

Life Insurance Class Action Involving Sales Practices: Denial of Class Certification Affirmed By California Court of Appeal

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a denial of class certification in Fairbanks v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Company.  The plaintiffs alleged that Farmers violated the California Unfair Competition Law in connection with its marketing and sales of universal life and flexible universal life policies.  The central claim was that Farmers designed and … Continue Reading

Taking Discovery From Putative Class Members: New Southern District of California Opinion Weighs In

It is relatively rare for defendants to take discovery from non-named members of the putative class, which generally requires court approval.  But such discovery can be quite useful in opposing class certification by highlighting differences in experience and viewpoints among putative class members.  Where depositions of a sample of putative class members turn up information … Continue Reading

Insurance Rating Class Action: Sixth Circuit Decision Highlights Several Lessons Broadly Applicable to Insurance Class Actions

A new Sixth Circuit opinion in two putative class actions involving rates for title insurance demonstrates several lessons generally applicable to insurance class actions.  In Randleman v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, the plaintiffs claimed that title insurers failed to provide proper discounts for refinancing of mortgages.  The applicable Ohio rate manual provided that “[w]hen … Continue Reading