Sixth Circuit Rules that the Class Action Fairness Act Means What it Says

A statute, distilled to its essence, is thought conveyed through words.  And when those words are understandable and coherently arranged, there’s nothing for courts to do when adjudicating disputes involving them, other than to apply them as written.

Simple, isn’t it?

In theory, yes.  But theories don’t wear judge’s robes. Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Rules that the Class Action Fairness Act Means What it Says”

Question: When Is a $3 Million Attorney Fee Award Painful?

Answer:  When your fee request was $25 million higher.

And so it was in In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, pending in federal court in San Francisco.  The case arose, in the court’s words, from VW’s “deliberate use of a defeat device – software designed to cheat emissions tests and deceive federal and state regulators – in nearly 600,000 Volkswagens- and Audi-branded turbocharged direct injection diesel engine vehicles sold in the United States.”  Continue reading “Question: When Is a $3 Million Attorney Fee Award Painful?”

Expect a Mess When Food and Class Actions Collide: Part 1

Remember eating pasta and spaghetti sauce as a kid?  Remember what it did to your shirt?  Your face?  Want to rekindle that memory?

Two recent cases will help you revive it.  One involves gumbo; the other, gourmet foods and ingredients.  Both involve putative class actions, and each created its own unique mess. Continue reading “Expect a Mess When Food and Class Actions Collide: Part 1”

The House Has Passed H.R.720: The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017

On March 10, 2017, at 11:29 a.m., by a vote of 230 to 188, with eleven members not voting, the House of Representatives passed the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017.  Of the “ayes,” 227 were Republican and three were Democrats; of the “noes,” 183 were Democrats and five were Republicans.  The bill was swiftly approved by the House; it was introduced January 30, 2017. Continue reading “The House Has Passed H.R.720: The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017”

The House Has Passed H.R.725: The Innocent Party Protection Act

On March 9, 2017, at 7:19 p.m., by a vote of 224 to 194, with eleven members not voting, the House of Representatives passed The Innocent Party Protection Act.  All 227 “ayes” were Republicans, and of the nays (or “noes,” as the House refers to them), 184 were Democrats and 10 were Republicans.  The bill was speedily approved by the House; it was introduced January 30, 2017. Continue reading “The House Has Passed H.R.725: The Innocent Party Protection Act”

The House Has Passed H.R.985: The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017

On March 9, 2017, at 6:53 p.m., by a vote of 220 to 201, with seven abstentions, the House of Representatives passed The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017.  All 220 “ayes” were Republicans and of the “nays,” 187 were Democrats and 14 were Republicans.  As for the speed of its passage, consider this:  the bill was introduced in the House on February 9, 2017. Continue reading “The House Has Passed H.R.985: The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017”