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PAMarketing

PAMarketing

This author PAMarketing has created 4 entries.

Sixth Circuit Rejects Traditional Certification Process in FLSA Collective Actions, Deepening Circuit Court Divide

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In Clark v. A&L Homecare & Training Ctr., LLC, 68 F.4th 1003 (6th Cir. 2023), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently created a new standard for its district courts to employ when determining whether to authorize notice in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases, or what other Circuits typically refer to as the “conditional certification” phase of a FLSA collective action.  In fact, the Sixth Circuit altogether rejects characterization of this notice stage as “certification” of anything, conditional or otherwise, noting that the term is borrowed from Rule 23’s governance of class actions, which are “fundamentally different” from FLSA collective actions.

Sixth Circuit’s New Standard

Rather than adopt the widely applied “two step” conditional certification process first set forth in Lusardi v. Xerox Corp., 118 F.R.D. 351, 361 (D.N.J. 1987), and subsequently adopted and followed by district courts in the majority of Circuits, including the First, the Clark

Amendments to Rule 23 Now in Full Swing

On December 1, 2018, the amendments to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 took effect, principally altering portions of the Rule governing class action notice, settlement, and appeals. Although the amendments were approved earlier in 2018 by the United States Supreme Court, they had been in the works for some time.

In 2014, a subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules met with class action attorneys from both the plaintiffs’ and defense bar all across the country in a series of meetings, seeking input on amendments to Rule 23. One such meeting was held in October 2014 during the ABA’s National Institute on Class Actions, a two-day conference well-attended by counsel in private practice, in-house counsel, academics, and reporters from class action news services. Those of us in attendance had the opportunity to offer the subcommittee suggestions on how to amend the Rule to better address problems we encounter in practice, such as cy pres awards, professional objectors, and issue classes. Fast-forward four years later, and

CAFA, PART II?

In February 2017, Representative Goodlatte introduced the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017. The Act, as with its 2015 predecessor, covers a lot of ground. It permits certification of damages classes only where “each proposed class member suffered the same type and scope of injury.” It precludes certain conflicts of interest between class counsel and the named plaintiff. It resolves the Circuit split on ascertainability, adopting the view of the Third and Eleventh Circuits (and perhaps the First Circuit as well, as my colleague Katherine Kayatta recently noted) that the named plaintiff has the burden to show that identifying the class members is administratively feasible. It alters or creates certain procedural and disclosure requirements, such as giving a party an interlocutory appeal as of right of the class certification decision and staying all discovery during the pendency of certain motions. And it clarifies that Rule 23(c)(4) is an administrative tool for making class actions work, not a mechanism to permit evasion of the

In a Groundbreaking Decision, Third Circuit Provides Framework for Evaluating Numerosity

One of the least disputed elements of class certification is Rule 23(a)(1) numerosity, and so there is relatively little analysis from the courts about it. Last month, however, a divided panel of the Third Circuit provided a detailed analysis of the purposes of numerosity and the factors that district courts should employ in making numerosity determinations. In doing so, the court has broken new ground, and its decision will likely be cited by other courts and parties for years to come.

Plaintiffs in In re: Modafinil Antitrust Litigation, No. 15-3475, 2016 WL 4757793 (3d Cir. Sept. 13, 2016) were direct wholesale purchasers of Provigil, a wakefulness-promoting agent used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.  Defendant Cephalon owned the patent for modafinil and had FDA approval for the branded version.  Plaintiffs alleged an antitrust conspiracy between Cephalon and the four generic modafinil manufacturers for entering into reverse-payment settlements.  Plaintiffs also brought a monopoly claim against Cephalon.

The district court